WASHINGTON — Specific types of tire cord-quality steel wire rod, tire cord and bead wire should be excluded from a national security investigation of steel imports, the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has told the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Domestic suppliers cannot meet the demand of U.S. tire manufacturers for these steel products, said Tracey L. Norberg, USTMA senior vice president and general counsel, at a May 24 Commerce hearing on the national security implications of steel imports.
"Tire manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy," Ms. Norberg said in her prepared testimony. "Tires manufactured by USTMA members safely transport millions of Americans and millions of tons of goods each day."
Ms. Norberg's testimony can be viewed at the Department of Commerce's web site. Her testimony starts at the 2:31.00 mark of the video.
Virtually all of the steel wire rod used to manufacture tire cord for U.S. tire manufacturing is imported, according to Ms. Norberg.
The stringent performance and quality standards of tire manufacturing, as well as quality and supply limitations of domestic steel wire rod suppliers, makes imports necessary, she said.
"It is our understanding that electric arc furnace technology, used in domestic steel mills, is unable to produce consistently the quality of tire cord-quality wire rod necessary to make tire cord," she said.