USA: No antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese truck & bus tyres

In a 3-2 vote, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) yesterday determined that the US tyre industry hasn’t been materially injured by imports of truck and bus tyres from China, nor is it threatened by these imports. The US Department of Commerce previously determined that these imported tyres are subsidised and are sold in the United States at less than fair value.

As a result of the ITC’s determination, the Department of Commerce won’t issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders on truck and bus tyres imported from China. The ITC’s views on the matter will be published in a report – Truck and Bus Tires from China (Investigation Nos. 701-TA-556 and 731-TA-1311 (Final) – that will be released by 15 March and available to read at the ITC website.

The decision is a hard blow to those who have fought to protect the local industry. The president of the United Steelworkers’ union believes the commissioners of the ITC “made a huge mistake” by deciding the imported tyres don’t harm US-based manufacturers. “While the Department of Commerce identified subsidies of up to more than 60 per cent and dumping of up to almost 23 per cent, the ITC failed to support relief for the injured workers. That simply ignores the facts and the harm that Chinese unfairly-traded exports have caused the workers,” states Leo Gerard.

“The size of the margins clearly indicated the serious nature of the problem, but our law separates the facts from the determination of whether injury has occurred,” Gerard continues. “For too long, that has jeopardised the jobs of workers across the country that make high quality products. Our members can compete against companies, but not countries. That’s exactly what happens when it comes to competing against China. The injury that the workers making truck and bus tyres have experienced is tragic. Massive subsidies and dumping must be challenged.”

Stan Johnson, the union’s secretary-treasurer, opines that workers manufacturing truck and bus tyres in the US have been “left holding the short end of the stick.” He states that the USW will “look to the Congress and the new Administration” to determine whether other steps can be taken to protect those engaged in the US tyre manufacturing sector: “The fight for these jobs is far from over.”

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