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TIA opposes USW petition on Chinese tire duties

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BOWIE, Md. (June 25, 2014) — The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has come out in opposition of the United Steelworkers (USW) union’s June 3 petitions to the International Trade Commission requesting antidumping and countervailing duties against passenger and light truck tires imported from China.

“TIA is sympathetic to the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs, but understands that this has occurred over the course of many years and under a multitude of trade policy initiatives,” the Bowie-based association said.

If duties were imposed and Chinese tire imports reduced, the resulting market disruption would do great harm to both consumers and TIA member companies, the trade group said.

“Our members, by directly importing or contracting with suppliers, are meeting the demands of a segment of the tire consumer market for lower-cost tires,” TIA said.

“No manufacturing uptick would satisfy this product segment, but instead could create a need for product allocation, resulting in shortages and outages,” the association said. “In the best of times such occurrences are troubling, but in today’s climate could inflict severe financial harm on many retailers and on the motoring public.”

The ITC held a preliminary hearing June 24, at which representatives of the USW and of Chinese tire makers testified. The agency is scheduled to make a determination by July 18 as to whether there is sufficient evidence of material injury against U.S. tire makers to continue the investigation.

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