Tariffs present safety risk to American consumers
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) expressed disappointment in President Obama’s decision to impose extraordinary duties on all tires imported from China.
Late last week the White House announced a decision to apply duties to all imports of passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China for a period of three years; 35% in year one, 30% in year two, and 25% in year three.’ No US tire producers supported the petition seeking remedies filed by the United Steelworkers.’ In fact, some US tire producers opposed the union’s effort.
‘RILA is disappointed in the President’s decision to bow to political pressure to erect tariffs against Chinese tires,’ said Stephanie Lester, vice president of international trade. ‘This precipitous decision could lead to more such cases and have serious implications on the trade relationships that the US has forged around the world.’
Last month, RILA provided comments to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk enumerating the negative consequences that could accompany of such action. Specifically, the comments highlighted the public safety implications of forcing a sudden increase to tire prices at a time when consumers are already forced to make difficult personal budget decisions.’ Most consumers do not budget for new tires, and the increased cost could cause US consumers to delay the replacement of worn tires, creating a dangerous hazard on American roadways. ‘RILA hopes the US International Trade Commission and President Obama will be more judicious in their responses to any future safeguard petitions,’ added Lester.
RILA supports the longstanding US policy of economic engagement with China and opposes actions that cut off access to the US market, particularly in this case where there was no allegation of unfair trade. RILA advocates a balanced trade policy that recognizes the tremendous opportunities and benefits that trade brings to our economy, while also effectively addressing market access barriers and other unfair trade practices that affect US companies. RILA has consistently advocated for passage of pending trade agreements with Colombia , Panama and South Korea and further liberalization of trade relations worldwide.
“Trade liberalization that removes barriers that disrupt the natural flow of commerce and stifle economic opportunity are good for workers, consumers businesses in the US and abroad,’ concluded Lester.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad. (RILA)