August 15, 2008

USW Says Jobs More Secure With Duties on China Tires

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) welcomed today's final determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for placing anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties on pneumatic off-the-road (OTR) tire imports from China.

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"Today's decision proves China cheats and that U.S. trade law enforcement is an important tool that will help level the playing field for U.S. workers by requiring Chinese tire imports to be priced fairly," said USW President Leo W. Gerard. "This case shows the importance of vigorous enforcement of our trade laws as a first line of defense against unfair trade practices that harm American industries and jobs."

The original trade case was jointly filed by the USW and Titan Tire Corp., in June 2007. "The ITC vote of 5-1 reveals how egregious China's import violations of fair trade rules really are," Gerard said. Ron Hoover, USW international vice president for rubber industry bargaining adds, "We are proud of fighting for trade fairness with Titan Tire, and we believe American tire workers will now have a measure of future job security - at least for those who make OTR tires."

According to Stewart and Stewart, the USW's Washington trade counsel, Chinese imports of OTR tires surged by 75 percent during the period 2004-2007, jumping from about 1.8 million tires to 3.2 million last year. The law firm said lost jobs, production and shipments from U.S. tire plants were the direct result of the illegal China imports.

Steven Vanderheyden, a maintenance worker at Titan's OTR factory in Freeport, IL and the USW Local 745 President representing 650 tire employees, said, "Union workers at the Freeport plant are very excited about the outcome this trade enforcement action provides by shoring up job security in our craft. Building the large tires for agricultural and mining equipment is physically heavy and demanding, but if fair trade laws are followed, we can compete."

The final U.S. Commerce Dept. investigation for this case in July, determined that the Chinese government was unfairly subsidizing OTR tire producers with subsidy rates ranging up to 14% and final dumping margins calculated to be up to a massive 210%. Under trade law procedures, details of the ITC's determination and the final duties won't be known for another 30 days.

The USW represents 70 percent of the domestic OTR tire makers with workers employed at Titan production plants employing about 1,355 workers in Des Moines, IA; Freeport, IL; and Bryan, OH; In addition, the USW represents 4,215 workers who make OTR tires at Bridgestone-Firestone in Des Moines and Bloomington, IL; Denman Tire in Leavittsburg, OH; and Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Topeka, KS; and Buffalo, NY.

Off-the-road tires are designed for use on a broad array of agricultural, construction, mining and industrial vehicles. For more information,

CONTACT: Gary Hubbard of USW, +1-202-778-4384, +1-202-256-8125

Photo: Archive: Photo Desk [email protected]

United Steelworkers (USW)

CONTACT: Gary Hubbard of USW, +1-202-778-4384, +1-202-256-8125

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