The comments keep pouring in from members of Congress and the Senate regarding the big ruling in yesterday's U.S. International Trade Commission case. The commission affirmed the USW's claim that imports from Chinese tiremakers are surging, harming U.S. workers and plants.
U.S. Rep. Mark Souder welcomed the ruling that a dramatic surge in tire imports from China threatens domestic tire production jobs. Between 2004 and 2008, there was a 215 percent increase in Chinese tire imports by volume and a 295 percent increase in imports by dollar value over the five-year period. This led to sharp declines in domestic tire production and over 5,000 jobs lost.
The "decision is a step in the right direction,” said Souder, a Republican. “Trade works best when the rules are followed, but China consistently ignores the regulations to which they originally agreed.”
Slaughter, chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, expressed hope that the ruling will pave the way for timely import relief.
“The failure to take enforcement seriously has hurt too many workers for too long. I hope the ITC’s ruling signals a shift in policy and fairer trade for American workers,” said Slaughter. "While I applaud the ITC’s decision, I believe the compelling facts in this case could have yielded no other conclusion. I am confident these facts will also lead to an effective remedy for tire workers in upstate New York and other places around the country.”
Kilpatrick said, “This is a great decision for workers and manufacturers in Michigan and across America.” Click here for Congresswoman Kilpatrick's entire statement.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown also was pleased with the decision.
"The ITC recognized that an import surge of Chinese-made tires is destroying American jobs and threatening to eliminate an entire manufacturing sector," said Brown, a Democrat. “This affirmative vote at the ITC is a critical first step toward a stronger trade enforcement policy that preserves U.S. jobs and manufacturing. For too long, enforcement of trade laws has been ignored. Today, the ITC has given hardworking Americans a chance to compete on a level playing field." Click here for Brown's entire statement.
“While I am not pleased to see the U.S. tire industry struggling to compete against surging Chinese tire imports, I am glad that Congress had the foresight to enact a safeguard measure designed to address such situations,” said Rangel. “Democrats support shaping trade and the safeguard mechanism is an important element of our trade policy.”
“The Section 421 safeguard mechanism was an important provision governing China’s accession to the WTO. It was designed to address a key concern – that surges of Chinese imports would push U.S. companies out of the market,” said Levin. “The ITC has made its finding in the tires case. I believe that, unlike the Bush Administration, President Obama will decide the safeguard case on the merits, not on an ideological rejection of import relief.”
Sens. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, and Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, also lauded the decision. Visit our tire page for more Congressional reaction to the important ruling, as well as background, a timeline, video and other material.