TIA opposes Chinese import tariffs

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is opposing the International Trade Commission (ITC) that would limit the import of Chinese-made passenger and light truck tyres into the US. TIA previously opposed a similar measure in 2009. According to a statement published today, the association “feels strongly that this measure, despite being well-intentioned, would not help in the preservation of manufacturing jobs, and would be harmful to consumers, as these tyres are often an affordable solution to those drivers with limited budgets. However, the association also reiterates its long-standing position that all tyres – regardless of country of origin – must be held to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.”

The statement comes in response to the 3 June 2014 announcement that the United Steel Workers (USW), Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union petitioned the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) to determine whether passenger and light truck tyres manufactured in China are being dumped in the US. The official wording is “being imported in such increased quantities or under such conditions as to cause or threaten to cause market disruption to the producers of like or directly competitive products” but these are commonly referred to as anti-dumping tariffs.

Despite its opposition to the measures, the TIA said it is sympathetic to the loss of US manufacturing jobs, but understands that this has occurred over the course of many years and under a multitude of trade policy initiatives. TIA believes that a reduction of this magnitude in the quantity of Chinese tyres imported would itself create a market disruption, and cause very real harm to our member companies and the US consumer.

“Our members, by directly importing or contracting with suppliers, are meeting the demands of a segment of the tyre consumer market for lower-cost tyres. No manufacturing uptick would satisfy this product segment, but instead could create a need for product allocation, resulting in shortages and outages. In the best of times such occurrences are troubling, but in today’s climate could inflict severe financial harm on many retailers and on the motoring public.”


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