By Denna Bowman
The surge in the number of cheap tyres imported from China into the US is harming the domestic industry, according to an important trade ruling last week.
The US International Trade Commission ruled in favour of the petition by the United Steelworkers union which seeks to restrict the quota of imported tyres from China to 2005 levels.
The union argued that China has more than tripled its tyre exports to the US to 46 million tyres between 2004 and 2008, putting more than 5,100 workers out of a job.
An additional 3,000 workers would lose their jobs by the end of the year, the union predicts, and it is urging President Barack Obama to cap Chinese tyre imports at 21 million per year.
The ITC voted 4-2 in favour of the union petition saying that the growth in passenger tyre exports from China to the U.S. caused “disruption” in the US market.
The ITC ruling has no immediate repercussions, but the group is scheduled to meet again later this month to determine a recommendation to the White House on the issue.
The ITC will send its specific ruling and suggested remedy on to the president by the end of this month, and the Obama Administration is expected to act by the end of September.
Tom Conway, international vice president of USW, said: “We anticipate that the final decisions on remedies will improve domestic job security, increase production and sales, and allow for investment in capital equipment to better compete in the global market for the long term.”