By Denna Bowman
Pressure is mounting on the Obama administration not to act on a trade ruling to impose tariffs on tyres imported from China.
The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition warns that the tyres ruling could have a potentially devastating impact on US automakers who are already facing the worst economic situation in the industry’s history.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) recommended that extra duties be imposed on cheap tyres imported from China, starting with 55 per cent for the first year, 45 per cent for the second and 35 per cent for the third year.
The ruling is in response to a petition raised by the United Steelworkers union, which claims that the surge in imports is having a damaging effect on the domestic tyre manufacturing industry.
Lewis Leibowitz, a lawyer acting on behalf of the CITAC, said that in deciding whether to follow the ITC’s recommendation, President Obama needs to consider the potentially devastating impact of punitive tariffs on recession-hit automakers.
Eugene Patrone, executive director of CITAC, added that not only will imposing penalties drive more auto-related manufacturing jobs out of the USA and threaten to undo much of the administration’s hard work to revive the auto industry, it will also invite a wave of similar petitions to be filed in the future.
President Obama has until 17th September to determine what action to take on the issue.