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Posts Tagged ‘International Trade Commission’

AAM Claims Chinese Tire Tariff Works

U.S. Production, Share Up. Job Losses Reverse. Results beg thorny industrial policy questions during an election year.

by on Sep.01, 2010

The President makes good on a campaign promise and enforces the law. What now?

President Obama’s decision to provide relief a year ago on imports of car and truck tires from China is achieving the desired positive effect on U.S. makers and their workforce, according to a new report just issued by the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

AAM claims the tariff is achieving the desired positive effect on U.S. tire manufacturers and workers, and is no doubt lobbying behind the scenes to make sure the tariffs stay in place.

The report comes as the U.S. economy continues to languish with record post war unemployment levels, a surging trade deficit, a collapsed housing market, as well as frozen credit markets – all contributing to voter’s concerns over evaporating middle class jobs and declining consumer confidence, where two-thirds of economic activity is customer rather than business driven.

The report prompts a series of policy questions as to why the U.S., alone among industrial nations, doesn’t do more to protect its people and markets and jobs – a contentious subject that will be part of the upcoming mid-term Congressional elections. Insiders  expect the U.S. Labor Department to report this Friday that the economy lost another 80,000 jobs in August after dumping 131,000 in July – just in time for the Labor Day weekend holiday.


Insurance Firms Push “Access to Repair Parts Act”

Automakers want to keep monopoly selling high profit parts.

by on Mar.31, 2010


Automakers use patents to stop sales of what they say are inferior parts from independents.

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) is pushing a coalition of consumer groups to support the “Access to Repair Parts Act” – H.R. 3059/S. 1368 – appear to be tied up in the legislative committee process from which they might never emerge for a full and open debate.

The bills (Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., introduced HR 3059 in the House. The  Senate version, S. 1368, was introduced by Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.) provide an exception to the U.S. design patent law to provide continued access to “affordable, automotive collision replacement parts.”

The latest clash between the insurance industry and automakers was apparently set off by an International Trade Commission ruling that enforced a car company’s design patents on several crash parts, excluding them from the replacement crash parts marketplace.

Automakers use patent law to prevent the sale what they deem to be inferior parts from independent suppliers, many of them based offshore. The resulting lack of a free market – a monopoly according to critics – costs consumers an estimated $2.8 billion per year in increased repair costs, typically when buying bumpers, fenders, and hoods.   (more…)

President Imposes Tariffs on Chinese Tire Imports

Major trade decision to protect U.S. jobs against illegal actions is immediately criticized by the Chinese Minister of Commerce.

by on Sep.12, 2009

The President makes good on a campaign promise and enforces the law.

The President makes good on a campaign promise and enforces the law.

The White House announced late Friday night that it would follow the recommendation of the U.S. Trade Representative and impose tariffs for three years on Chinese-made tires starting in 15 days.

The three-year penalty, which adds an additional tariff on top of the  current 4% of 35% ad valorem in the first year, 30% in the second, and 25% in the third, is being imposed after a finding by the United States International Trade Commission that a harmful surge of imports of Chinese tires disrupted the U.S. market for tires. An estimated 5,000 U.S. jobs were eliminated during the past five years, as Chinese imports tripled and seven U.S. tire plants closed.

President Obama also announced that Trade Adjustment Assistance would be targeted to help affected workers, industries, and communities immediately, while the tariff changes take effect.

“When China came in to the World Trade Organization, the U.S. negotiated the ability to impose remedies in situations just like this one,” said United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

President Bush chose not to do so in several similar cases under his administration.

“This Administration is doing what is necessary to enforce trade agreements on behalf of American workers and manufacturers. Enforcing trade laws is key to maintaining an open and free trading system,” Kirk concluded.

The trade panel had recommended a 55% tariff in the first year, 45% in the second, and 35% in the third year. The President decided the lower levels of 35%, 30% and 25%, according to Robert Gibbs, Obama’s press secretary.

No Tariffs!

No Tariffs!

Nonetheless, the decision is a victory for the United Steelworkers Union, which filed the trade complaint last spring under Section 421 of the 1974 Trade Act.