Press Releases

Sen. Warner: ITC Ruling is Step Toward Needed Relief for Tire Workers

~ Says ruling is positive step toward timely relief ~

Jun 19 2009


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner released the following statement today after the International Trade Commission ruled yesterday that increased imports from China have injured domestic tire industry workers:

“This is a positive step toward timely import relief for our local tire workers,” said Senator Warner.  “While the ruling confirms the unfortunate fact that U.S. tire workers have taken hits due to a surge in imports from China, I expect the ITC will use its honest and thorough analysis to recommend a remedy that will help our domestic tire industry get back on its feet.”

The ruling came in a Section 421 investigation, a safeguard mechanism that allows companies or workers injured by import surges from China to petition for temporary relief in the form of reduced imports.  Section 421 of the Trade Act of 1974 was adopted in 2000 in conjunction with China’s entry to the World Trade Organization. 

The United Steelworkers, which filed the 421 petition, is requesting an import quota of 21 million consumer passenger tires, the import level in 2005.  The quota would then increase by five percent per year over three years.  This would help U.S. producers adjust to import competition and preserve jobs and production capacity. 

In yesterday’s ruling, the ITC determined that a surge of imports of passenger vehicle and light truck tires imported from China between 2004 and 2008 led to sharp declines in domestic production and over 5,000 job losses.  The petition showed that there was a 215 percent increase by volume in imports of these tires over the five-year period 

Warner submitted testimony in the ITC’s investigation in which he argued that the United States needs to be able to compete in the global marketplace but it can only succeed if rules that countries have agreed to are honored and enforced.

Now that the ITC has determined that  an injury has occurred it will hold a vote on a remedy on June 29.  Following that step, the ITC will present its report and recommendation to President Obama on July 9. The President’s decision for a remedy is due in mid-September.