WASHINGTON (Sept. 17, 2014) — Citing “critical circumstances,” the United Steelworkers union (USW) and its attorneys have petitioned Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker for expedited action on the USW's countervailing duties case against imports of passenger and light truck tires from China.
In its Sept. 12 filing, the USW cited Commerce Department regulations stating that, when critical circumstances exist, the agency need not wait for a preliminary determination of subsidies to issue a preliminary critical circumstances determination.
The facts of the case, the USW said, show “there is a reasonable basis to believe or suspect ‘critical circumstances' exist” demonstrating severe material injury to the domestic tire industry. It urged Commerce to make a preliminary critical circumstances determination as soon as possible, but no later than the Nov. 21 deadline for the preliminary determination of subsidies.
The “massive increase” in Chinese tire imports in the past three years — 15 percent or more over a “relatively short period,” by Commerce Department convention — are more than enough to prove critical circumstances, the USW said.
In June and July 2014 alone, it said, imports of passenger and light truck from China into the U.S. averaged 6.1 million units per month, a 26.5-percent increase over the 4.82 million average in the March-May 2014 period.