The U.S. Tire Industry Association (TIA), one of the leading global authorities on tires, said Wednesday that it opposed petition to limit imports of Chinese-made tires.
The TIA announced their opposition to the proposal before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), saying that would limit the import of Chinese-made passenger and light truck tires, according to a TIA statement released Wednesday.
"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," the statement said.
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.
The United Steel Workers (USW) on April 20 petitioned the ITC 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 USW is requesting the imposition of an import quota of 21 million tires with an increase of 5 percent each year over a three-year period. This would reduce current imports by almost half.
"TIA believes that the proposal before the ITC would be the worst of both worlds, no U.S. manufacturing jobs would be either saved or created, and consumers would be denied a source of affordable tires at a time in our economy when every penny counts," said TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield.
"Any reduction in the quantity of tires imported from China would be in and of itself disruptive, as no manufacturing up tick here in the U.S. would satisfy the shortage this measure would create. Instead, manufacturers would have to essentially ration their products, thus resulting in shortages, outages, and most likely, much higher tire prices," he added.
"TIA believes that the ITC has the ability to guard against foreign governments supporting the sales of below-cost products, and favors anti-dumping remedies when appropriate," the TIA said in the statement.
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, the statement said.