Six U.S. tire importers are challenging a United Steel Workers (USW) union's petition asking the International Trade Commission (ITC) to limit tire imports from China. (See story on USW petition on page 4).
Under the new umbrella groupAmerican Coalition for Free Trade in Tiresthe importers pursuing strategies to defeat the USW effort include: American Omni Trading Co. of Houston; Del-Nat Tire Corp. of Memphis, Tenn.; Dunlap & Kyle
Co. Inc. of Batesville, Miss.; Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. of Findlay, Ohio; Orteck Global Supply & Distribution Co. of Gaithersburg, Md.; and Foreign Tire Sales Inc. of Union, N.J.
There are thousands of Americans working for small to medium U.S. tire companies whose jobs will be on the line if these quotas are put in place, Del-Nat President Jim Mayfield said. Many U.S. companies refuse to make our tire brands anymore and now the unions want to cut off our imports. What's supposed to happen to my company and my workers?
Mr. Mayfield added that Del-Nat believes that if this quota is implemented, it could have a serious negative impact on our ability to continue to source tires that will meet dealers' needs.
Dennis King, vice president of Dunlap & Kyle, said that in a weak economy, the last thing we should be doing is making it more expensive for American consumers to maintain their cars.
The coalition is represented by law firm Jochum Shore & Trossevin of Washington, D.C., which has been talking to potential new coalition members and preparing some members to testify before the ITC when it has a hearing on the petition June 2.
Lead attorney in the case Marguerite Trossevin, a former deputy chief counsel at the Department of Commerce's Import Administration, said restricting imports is not the answer to our economic problems, which are not unique to the tire industry.