By Denna Bowman
In just under two weeks, President Barak Obama is due to make a crucial ruling about the future of Chinese tyres imported to the US.
Both sides have had the chance to present their case for and against imposing extra duties or quotas on the tyres brought in from China.
Now Obama has until September 17 to decide how to respond to the calls to take action to stem the flood of Chinese tyres, which the United Steelworkers union (USW) claims is harming the domestic market.
The USW started the controversy when it launched a petition calling for quotas to be imposed on the cheap imported tyres. Now the final piece of the jigsaw is in place after the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has submitted its report and recommendations to the White House.
Leo W. Gerard, International President of the USW expressed confidence that Obama will grant the US tyre industry meaningful relief from Chinese tyre imports, which they claim have injured domestic production workers.
Gerard said: “We don’t know what the USTR has recommended, but we do know the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) concluded that a large China tyre import surge had injured domestic workers and relief should be granted.”
He added: “President Obama will have the opportunity to let American workers know he will stand with them when trade distorting practices from China threaten American jobs and our industries.
“This is the time and this is the case for the President to open the trade enforcement toolbox.”
Gerard went on: “We are confident the President shares our values of promoting a rising standard of living for the American worker.
“This trade case gives him the chance to put into practice his pledge to level the playing field and give all Americans a chance to share in the benefits of balanced trade.
“Strong enforcement is the cornerstone of any new progressive trade policy that might be developed by this Administration.”
The trade commission recommended in July that tariffs be applied over a three-year period to help the industry get back into production, restoring jobs and recovering from the deep damage of the flood of tyre imports.