WASHINGTON — Eight U.S. representatives and 11 U.S. senators have come out in favor the U.S.'s imposing antidumping duties on passenger and light truck tire imports from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The congresspersons — all of whom are from states that have tire plants in their districts whose worker are represented by the United Steelworkers union (USW) — submitted their support in written comments to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which held a hearing May 24 on the issue.
"As members who support a robust U.S. manufacturing sector, we recognize the importance of having a level playing field that ensures fair competition for companies and workers across this country," the U.S. representatives wrote in a letter signed by all eight – Brian Higgins, D-N.Y.: Bruce Westerman, R-Ark.; Terri Sewell, D-Ala.; Robert Latta, R-Ohio; Richard Hudson, R-N.C.; Sanford Bishop Jr., D-Ga.; Jim Banks, R-Ind.; and H. Morgan Griffith, R-Va.
The USW petitioned the Commerce Department in May 2020 for the duties.
One other U.S. representative, Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., is on the record as opposing the effort. Hankook Tire America Corp.'s non-union factory in Clarksville, Tenn., is in Mr. Green's district and Hankook opposes the imposition.
"This industry is an important contributor to the nation's manufacturing sector," the letter states. "Due to chronic unfair trade the industry has been repeatedly harmed by unfairly traded imports over the years, including the dumped and subsidized imports from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam that are covered in this investigation."
The letter goes on to state that the congresspersons' "constituents were pleased" that the U.S. Department of Commerce voted recently to confirm its preliminary determination that the U.S. industry was being harmed and therefore dumping duties are justified.
Commerce affirmed antidumping duties of between 13.25% and 98.44% were in order on various companies in the targeted export zones. The ITC has until June 23 to publish its decision(s) on Commerce's rulings.
If the ITC votes in the affirmative on all four cases, Commerce then will impose all of the dumping and countervailing orders; however if the ITC commissioners were to vote in the negative on all four, then the case would end and cash deposits held by Commerce would be forfeited back to the respondent countries.