Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (MI-13) today praised the International Trade Commission's (ITC) ruling that a surge of imports of tires from China has injured domestic tire industry workers.
"This is a great decision for workers and manufacturers in Michigan and across America," said Congresswoman Kilpatrick. "I commend the ITC for a careful review of the facts and a swift determination that tire imports from China are leading to the loss of American jobs."
The investigation was conducted a result of a petition filed by the United Steelworkers Union (USW) under Section 421 of the Trade Act of 1974. Created in 2000 as part of the process of bringing China into the World Trade Organization, Section 421 allows companies or groups of workers to petition the government with evidence that import surges are having an adverse effect on them and to seek import relief. The USW argued that a surge of imports of passenger vehicle and light truck tires imported from China between 2004 and 2008 resulted in decreased domestic production and the loss of more than 5,000 jobs.
Congresswoman Kilpatrick testified at the ITC's public hearing on June 2, 2009. In her testimony, Congresswoman Kilpatrick emphasized that stronger enforcement of trade obligations is critical to preserving key American industries, notably the automotive sector. As a result of today's ruling, the ITC will vote on a remedy on June 29 and present its recommendations to President Obama by July 9. The President's decision is due in mid-September.
"I encourage the ITC to recommend a significant cut in imports and hope President Obama will act on that recommendation. This will give the tire and auto industries the chance to recover," said Congresswoman Kilpatrick. "Working people who are struggling to keep their jobs during these tough times deserve to have trading obligations fairly enforced. I will continue fighting for fair trade policies that preserve and expand jobs for American workers."