Washington, Jul 8 -DKK
Congressman Don Manzullo today urged the federal government to penalize Chinese companies dumping tires on the U.S. market below cost to give American companies, including Titan Tires of Freeport, a chance to compete fairly in the off-the-road (OTR) tire market.
Manzullo testified this afternoon before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on the petition for relief from China’s unfair trade practices brought by Titan Tires and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union.
The ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce preliminarily ruled that 15 Chinese tire companies were illegally selling tires under fair value on the U.S. market and were also receiving illegal subsidies from the Chinese government to give them a competitive advantage against the seven American OTR tire companies.
Those Chinese companies could face tariffs up to 210 percent if the federal agencies agree with Manzullo and make their preliminary rulings final. In fact, the Commerce Department just made their final determinations this afternoon that the Chinese companies had indeed illegally dumped tires on the U.S. market and received illegal subsidies from the Chinese government. If the ITC follows suit next month (decision is expected by Aug. 21) and determines that the U.S. companies were injured by the unfair trade practices, the tariff penalties will go into effect.
During his testimony, Manzullo pointed out U.S. imports of foreign-made OTR tires increased 81 percent from 2004 to 2007 while the market share of American companies dropped significantly. During that time, China was illegally subsidizing those companies while they were illegally dumping those tires on the American market below fair prices, Manzullo said.
“I’m confident that the workers at Freeport’s Titan Tire plant can produce and sell the most affordable and highest quality tire if given the chance to compete fairly, but right now they are not competing on a level playing field,” Manzullo said. “China illegally subsidizes its industries and manipulates its currency to unfairly give an advantage to its manufacturers over American workers, and those Chinese companies must be punished in this case. I urge the ITC and the Department of Commerce to confirm their initial findings and slap tariffs on these offending Chinese companies that are threatening American jobs.”
Representative Don Manzullo