FEBRUARY 2011
                                        

Tire Industry Association disappointed with WTO decision concerning Chinese tire tariff

The Tire Industry Association (TIA), an authority on tires and wheels, announced their disappointment with the World Trade Organization (WTO) decision to dismiss a complaint against the tariff the United States government imposed on passenger and light truck tires imported from China. The States enacted this tariff in September of 2009, and it is slated to be in effect for three years.

The TIA also reiterated their call for United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk to establish a comprehensive, independent, verifiable system for quantifying the effects of the tariff. Backers of this tariff claim that it will protect American tire manufacturing jobs, whereas TIA believes there is no reliable data to support claims that the tariff has actually protected these jobs; it has only harmed American tire dealers, wholesalers and ultimately, the consumer.

“We are hopeful that the WTO appellate hearing panel will see that this tariff is misguided and ineffective; that it has not saved American tire manufacturing jobs and has only hurt American consumers at a time when they can least afford it,” said TIA executive vice president Roy Littlefield. Littlefield went on to say, “It is no secret that since this misguided tariff took effect last year, most tire manufacturers have raised their prices, and we know of no American tire manufacturing jobs that this tariff has been proven to have saved. As a matter of fact, we would urge USTR Kirk to engage TIA members to learn firsthand the effect these tariffs have had on the American motorist.

“Our message to Mr. Kirk is simple: All you have now are competing opinions, and that’s no way to administer a critical trade issue. Set up a fair, independent and verifiable system to discover the true effectiveness of the tariffs.”