Preliminary anti-dumping duties for certain passenger and light truck tires imported from China were set Jan. 21, 2015, by the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration. The duty rates vary between 19.17% and 87.99% before adjustments.
As a result of the investigation, the following companies were handed a 19.17% duty rate before adjustments: Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd., Giti Tire (USA) Ltd., Giti Tire (Anhui) Co. Ltd., Giti Tire (Fujian) Co. Ltd., and Giti Tire (Hualin) Co. Ltd./Giti Tire (Anhui) Co. Ltd., Giti Tire (Fujian) Co. Ltd., and Giti Tire (Hualin) Co. Ltd.
The followings companies were given a 27.72% duty rate before adjustments: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Dalian Tire Co. Ltd., Bridgestone (Wuxi) Tire Co. Ltd., Cheng Shin Tire & Rubber (China) Co. Ltd., Hankook Tire China Co. Ltd., Kenda Rubber (China) Co. Ltd., Kumho Tire Co. Inc., Pirelli Tyre Co. Ltd., Shandong Linglong Tyre Co. Ltd., Qingdao Nexen Tire Corp.and Toyo Tire (Zhangjiagang) Co. Ltd.
The following companies were issued a 36.26% rate before adjustments: Sailun Group Co. Ltd., Sailun Tire International Corp., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co. Ltd., Jinyu International Holding Co. Ltd., Seatex International Inc., Dynamic Tire Corp., Husky Tire Corp., and Seatex PTE. Ltd./Sailun Group Co. Ltd., and Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co. Ltd.
The DOC has chosen to offset the rates of certain importers based on the amount of export subsidies and the estimated domestic subsidy pass-through. As a result, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.’s adjusted rate is 20.75%; Giti’s adjusted rate is 18.72%; the Sailun Group’s adjusted rate is 29.01%; and those importers originally given a 27.72% rate (with the exception of Cooper) will receive an adjusted rate of 20.47%.
The DOC also set a 87.99% China-wide rate for any company not previously listed.
The DOC will make a final determination on anti-dumping duties on or about June 12, 2015.
In late November, the DOC also set a range of countervailing duties on specific tire companies and importers – 12.5% for Cooper Kunshan China Tire Co.; 17.69% for Giti Tire Fujian Co.; and 81.29% for Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co., which primarily produces tires for Del-Nat Tire Corp.
Within a month, the Commerce Department spun around and reduced rates on Giti Tire Fujian Co., which will now pay a reduced rate of 11.74%. All other producers and marketers will pay a reduced rate of 12.03%. The new rates will be charged in addition to the existing 4% tariffs on consumer tires imported from China.
The countervailing duty is retroactive 90 days from Dec. 1.
The DOC’s investigation into imports of tires from China was initially prompted by the United Steelworkers Union. According to the DOC, anti-dumping law provides U.S. businesses and workers with “a transparent and internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the market distorting effects caused by injurious dumping of imports into the United States, establishing an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.” USW International applauded the DOC’s decision, stating that “Chinese tire producers engage in massive unfair trade practices.”
“Today’s decision, following as it does the decision by Commerce in late November in the countervailing duty investigation, confirms the USW’s concern that imports from China not only are dumped, but also subsidized,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “American workers should not have to compete against illegally traded goods. The imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties is crucial to restoring a level playing field for our tire industry and for U.S. tire workers.”
While the USW applauded the decision, some tiremakers expressed disappointment in the decision.
“Giti is disappointed with the preliminary anti-dumping decision announced yesterday by the DOC. We are waiting for the DOC to release the full detailed calculation so we can review it and understand the numbers. Giti will continue to fully cooperate with the anti-dumping investigation,” a company spokesperson said.
Tire Review also reached out to several in the industry affected by the decision.
An executive from TBC Corp. told Tire Review, “TBC has always had a global sourcing strategy and we will continue to do such. We have had and will continue to have a dynamic portfolio of North American sourced product supplemented by sourcing from Europe and Asia.” TBC imports Sailun Tire and recently purchased Del-Nat’s assets.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. told Tire Review that it will continue to assess the situation as it goes forward.
“The DOC yesterday assigned Cooper the blended rate of 27.72% for the preliminary anti-dumping duty. Cooper will receive an offset of 6.97%, bringing our company’s preliminary anti-dumping duty to 20.75%. Cooper will make an assessment of the preliminary anti-dumping duty’s potential impact on our business and will communicate with our customers as appropriate going forward,” according to a Cooper spokesperson.
”We proactively considered the anti-dumping duties on consumer tires made in China and have already moved all production to our Korea and Vietnam plants. Since we are coming out with all new products in 2015, we wanted to ensure that any hiccups, especially those related to potential duties to the US, were avoided. I confidently state that Kumho Tire will remain unaffected, and the production and delivery of all six of our new products will stay on track,” said Harry Choi president and CEO of Kumho Tire USA.
Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce responded to the decision stating that the case has “many flaws.”
The Rubber Manufacturers Association has chosen not to comment on the duties.
Reacting to the rates, Atturo Tire, which produces tires in Taiwan, took to Twitter to express its confusion.
@Tire_Review This keeps getting more bizzare! Cooper now pays a higher duty than a state run china factory?? Isn’t that opposite of intent?
— Atturo Tire (@atturotire) January 22, 2015
Check back throughout the day for comments from other tire manufacturers.