International trade body rules in favor of Alabama tire manufacturers; Jeff Sessions weighed in

Jeff Sessions
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions

After testimony from Alabama’s junior U.S. senator, Jeff Sessions, the U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled in favor of American tire manufacturers based in Alabama.

A news release issued by Sessions’ office praised the commission, which ruled the communist government of China improperly subsidized their domestic tire industry, resulting in a “material injury” to American manufacturing interests.

“The International Trade Commission’s decision to impose relief from illegal Chinese tire imports is good news for Alabama workers,” said Sessions in a prepared statement on Tuesday.

“The ITC had already found that China was improperly subsidizing tire production in the past, but when that relief expired those unfair practices resumed and American workers suffered. The day is past when the United States can stand to see a single additional job lost due to unfair practices by our trading partners,” Sessions said.

Sessions had previously testified before the commission in June, where he argued forcefully against China’s protectionist policies designed to undercut foreign competition.

“I don’t accept the notion that we should send thank you notes to nations that ship us goods at illegally subsidized prices, that have the result of eliminating American competitors and shifting their unemployment to the United States,” testified Sessions before the commission. “As a result, this nation is facing very serious challenges to its strong manufacturing base. Currency manipulation, tariffs, and non-tariff barriers hammer American industries and workers.

“Our trade competitors strongly desire access to our market, and we can benefit from the import of foreign goods. However, we have every right, and a duty, to ensure that such access is accompanied with compliance with the rules of trade. This is not free trade. And this nation cannot be so tied to a religion of free trade that we enable such bad behavior.”

Among the Alabamian beneficiaries of the ruling would be Michelin plants in Dothan and Tuscaloosa and a Goodyear plant in Gadsden.

The commission plans to make its final report public by Aug. 24, 2015.


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