WASHINGTON — Congressmen from New York, North Carolina and Tennessee have weighed in on the U.S. government's antidumping investigation of consumer tire imports from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam — both for and against.
Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., and Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., support the United Steelworkers' (USW) efforts to get antidumping duties imposed on passenger and light truck tires from the four affected Asian lands, while Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., opposes the effort.
Messrs. Higgins' and Hudson's positions reflect the fact that Sumitomo Rubber USA Inc. and Goodyear, respectively, operate tire factories in their districts where the USW represents workers.
Mr. Green, on the other hand, opposes the issue because Hankook Tire America Corp.'s factory in Clarksville, Tenn., is in his district and Hankook opposes the imposition. The Hankook factory is a non-union operation.
Mr. Higgins' position is problematic, though, because Sumitomo Rubber North America opposes the antidumping duties. Mr. Higgins is a member of the House Committee on Trade, which oversees the nation's trade laws and agreements.
In his testimony, Mr. Higgins urged the ITC to vote for the duties, stating doing so "is critical to ensuring these workers have a level playing field from which they can continue making high quality products for good pay as they have for the past century."
In his testimony, Mr. Hudson noted: "As we move forward and launch out nation's economic recovery, we need to be sure the tire industry can regain its footing. … we should not open the door to dumped and subsidized tires that result in the loss of U.S. jobs."
Mr. Green said while he "appreciates the Commission's dedication to investigating unfair trade practices and whether imports are injuring the U.S. tire industry," he stressed: "I am concerned that the outcome of this investigation will result in duties that would hurt Hankook Tire's Clarksville plant, its workers and the many other Tennesseans whose livelihoods are connected to the plant."