Portman, Brown Stand Up for American Tire Workers, Urge Trade Commission to Ensure U.S. Trade Remedy Laws are Fully Enforced


U.S. Passenger Vehicle and Lightweight Tire (PVLT) Workers Face Ongoing Challenges from Unfairly Traded Tire Imports


May 26, 2021 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are urging the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to side with American workers and fully and fairly enforce U.S. trade remedy laws. In a bipartisan letter to the ITC, Portman and Brown led their colleagues in pressing the ITC to give full and fair consideration to the United Steelworkers’ petitions in these cases of unfairly traded imports. Portman and Brown led the letter with Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Todd Young (R-IN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mike Braun (R-IN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Raphael Warnock (D-GA).

“U.S. trade remedy laws are intended to provide relief to U.S. companies and their workers when they are undermined by unfairly traded imports.  We urge you to give full and fair consideration to the USW petitions in these cases and to ensure U.S. trade remedy laws are fully enforced,” the senators wrote.

For years, United Steelworkers’, at tire companies like Cooper Tire in Findlay, Ohio, have found themselves at a severe competitive disadvantage due to unfairly traded foreign imports. The United Steelworkers’ trade petitions seeks to secure relief for their members in the tire industry to ensure the U.S. tire industry can compete on a level playing field. 

The senators’ letter follows their recent introduction of an amendment, the Leveling the Playing Field Act 2.0, to legislation the Senate is currently considering called the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (previously called the Endless Frontier Act). This amendment is identical to legislation Portman and Brown introduced earlier this month to strengthen U.S. trade remedy laws and ensure they remain effective tools to fight back against unfair trade practices and protect workers at tire companies like Cooper Tire and across the country. The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act is a bipartisan bill aimed at advancing U.S. technology research, creating jobs, and improving economic and national security in order to counter China’s economic and political ambitions.

Senators Portman and Brown initially introduced the Leveling the Playing Field Act 2.0 in April as a stand-alone piece of legislation. This legislation builds upon the Leveling the Playing Field Act, a bill signed into law by former President Obama in 2015, that gives U.S. companies new tools to fight against unfair trade practices.

Full text of the letter is available here and below:

The Honorable Jason Kearns

Chairman

United States International Trade Commission

500 E Street, SW

Washington, D.C. 20436

Re: Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires (PVLT) from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, Inv. Nos. 701-TA-647 and 731-TA-1517-1520 (Final)

Dear Chairman Kearns:

We write on behalf of U.S. passenger vehicle and lightweight tire (PVLT) manufacturers and their workers who face ongoing challenges from unfairly traded tire imports in the above referenced cases and to reiterate our support for strong enforcement of U.S. trade remedy laws. 

The U.S. tire industry has been marked by unfair trade from foreign competitors for years.  In 2009, President Obama imposed Section 421 tariffs on Chinese tire imports to address the systemic dumping of tires in the U.S. market.  After the tariffs expired, USW tire-producing members again faced unfair competition, and the union filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty petitions in 2014.  AD and CVD orders have been in place on certain Chinese PVLT imports since.  Unfortunately, other foreign competitors are employing unfair practices to gain market share in the U.S. while Chinese tire imports face additional duties.  As a result, the USW union recently filed the AD and CVD petitions against tire producers in Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

U.S. trade remedy laws are intended to provide relief to U.S. companies and their workers when they are undermined by unfairly traded imports.  We urge you to give full and fair consideration to the USW petitions in these cases and to ensure U.S. trade remedy laws are fully enforced. 

Sincerely,

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