USW members testify at ITC hearing in support of PVLT tire petition

Pittsburgh, PA – Seven members of the United Steelworkers union (USW), including USW International President Tom Conway, testified at an International Trade Commission (ITC) hearing, sounding the alarm over the harm dumped and illegally subsidized imports inflict on the domestic tire industry. The USW filed trade petitions on passenger vehicle and light truck (PVLT) tires from Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam last May. The ITC issued its preliminary determination last summer and is expected to issue its final determination next month. The Department of Commerce announced its affirmative final determinations yesterday. “I am incredibly proud of our members and our union for standing up for the American tire industry, again and again,” said Conway. “We have seen how dumped and subsidized imports can hollow out our industry, drive down production, eliminate jobs and shutter plants. We have also seen how just getting the relief we’re entitled to under the law can dramatically level the playing field.” USW members testified that they lost production, hours, jobs and even in the case of Goodyear’s Gadsden, AL, facility, whole plants as a result of illegally traded PVLT tires. Trade remedies have already helped reverse these trends, including at Kumho Tire in Macon, GA, where newly organized members of the USW will reap the benefits of a $22 million investment that will boost production in Georgia by half a million tires per year. After the Commerce Department’s preliminary affirmative determination and the ITC’s preliminary duties last summer, “Subject imports retreated, and domestic plants rushed to fill the gap, bringing back workers, adding hours, raising prices and making new investments,” said Kevin Johnsen, who chairs USW’s Rubber and Plastics Industry Conference. “If final duty orders are imposed, we are very optimistic about the future of our industry. We know our employers are as well, as evidenced by their new willingness to invest in new equipment and increased production when the market is free from unfair imports.” Five local union presidents, representing workers at Cooper Tire in Findlay, OH, and Texarkana, AR, Goodyear in Gadsden, AL, and Fayetteville, NC, and Michelin in Fort Wayne, IN, also testified at the hearing. The USW, the largest North American union of tire manufacturing workers, further represents workers who make PVLT tires in Topeka, KS, Tuscaloosa, AL, Tonawanda, NY, Macon, GA, and Salem, VA. The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.
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