After the final vote was disclosed in March, Mr. Pinkert announced his return to private law practice.
Ironically, Mr. Kearns was nominated for the position in January by former President Obama to serve on ITC. His nomination was later withdrawn.
The open position expires Dec. 16, 2024.
Prior to taking the position on the staff of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Kearns served for three years in the Office of the General Counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative. From 2000 through 2003, he worked in the international trade group of the law firm WilmerHale L.L.P.
The White House's announcement potentially will fill a void the U.S. retreading industry petitioned the White House to do because of the negative impact the industry claims low-cost Chinese truck tires have wrought.
While the petition drive — initiated by Marangoni North America — fell far short of the necessary minimum of 100,000 signatures, it did generate considerable media attention and raised positive awareness of retreading, Marangoni said. The petition was signed by 1,497 supporters, described by Marangoni as "members of the retread industry as well as many interested parties supporting environmentally responsible positions as well as favoring free and fair trade."
Marangoni backed up the petition drive with an ambitious public relations effort, reaching out to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the ITC, 11 U.S. senators and representatives, 50-plus newspapers and over 35 national talk show hosts.
Worth noting: neither the major North American retread system franchisors — Bridgestone Americas/Bandag, Continental Tire the Americas, Goodyear and Michelin Retread Technologies — nor the United Steelworkers took an active role to support the petition despite its potential positive impact on their business.