TIA Opposes Petition to Limit Imports of Chinese-Made Tires

Bowie, Md. – The Tire Industry Association (TIA) released a statement announcing their opposition to the proposal before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that would limit the import of Chinese-made passenger and light truck tires. TIA previously opposed this measure in 2009. The Association feels strongly that this measure, despite being well-intentioned, would not help in the preservation of manufacturing jobs, and would be harmful to consumers, as these tires are often an affordable solution to those drivers with limited budgets. However, the Association also reiterates its long-standing position that all tires - regardless of country of origin - must be held to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Tires coming China are required to meet these standards and many Chinese tire manufactures have made this a priority.

On June 3, 2014, The United Steel Workers (USW), Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union petitioned the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) to determine whether passenger and light truck tires manufactured in China are being imported in such increased quantities or under such conditions as to cause or threaten to cause market disruption to the producers of like or directly competitive products.

The following is the complete statement:

Tire Industry Association Position on the United Steel Workers Petition before the United States International Trade Commission Seeking an Import Quota on Chinese-made Tires

On June 3, 2014, the United Steel Workers (USW), Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union petitioned the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) to determine whether passenger and LT tires from China are being imported in such increased quantities or under such conditions as to cause or threaten to cause market disruption to the producers of like or directly competitive products. The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is sympathetic to the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs, but understands that this has occurred over the course of many years and under a multitude of trade policy initiatives.

TIA believes that a reduction of this magnitude in the quantity of Chinese tires imported would itself create a market disruption, and cause very real harm to our member companies and the U.S. consumer. Our members, by directly importing or contracting with suppliers, are meeting the demands of a segment of the tire consumer market for lower-cost tires. No manufacturing uptick would satisfy this product segment, but instead could create a need for product allocation, resulting in shortages and outages. In the best of times such occurrences are troubling, but in today's climate could inflict severe financial harm on many retailers and on the motoring public.

TIA believes that the USITC has the ability to guard against foreign governments supporting the sales of below-cost products, and favors anti-dumping remedies when appropriate. In addition, TIA has long supported requiring that all Chinese tires adhere to applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

TIA would ask the USITC to continue to support a free-trade policy, and reject the USW's effort to impose a protectionist policy.