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ITC Prelim Conference on OTR Imports Will be Short and Sweet

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There has been a good bit written concerning today’s preliminary conference before the International Trade Commission regarding the petition by Titan International and the USW claiming “material injury” from imported OTR and ag tires being “dumped” on the U.S. by tiremakers in China, India and Sri Lanka.

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Unfortunately, it would lead one to believe that there was a cavalcade of people taking the witness and testifying in favor of or against the imposition of added duties on said OTR and ag tires. That is not the case; today’s event is basically the time for interested parties to file their paperwork and comments to be part of the continuing case.

There will, of course, be statements rendered, though those will be limited to one party from both sides and to a 60-minute time allotment for each side.

Stepping to the plate on behalf of “petitioners” are three executives from Titan, including Paul Hawkins, vice president of sales for Titan Tire Corp., but not chairman and CEO Morry Taylor or any other executive from Titan International. Standing in support will be Stan Johnson, USW International secretary treasurer.

Opposition representatives will be a team from Alliance Tire Americas, including president Jim Clark; vice president of replacement sales Robert Arnold; and Domenic Mazzola, vice president of product development and OE sales.

Joining them in speaking will be Brian Robinson, vice president of BKT Tire Inc.; Robert Bulger, vice president and general manager of Camso USA Inc.; and S. Seetharaman, consultant for Ceat Ltd.

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The end result from today’s event will be for the case to be moved ahead with the Commerce Department and the ITC for further investigation. Some 50 companies in all have filed the necessary paperwork to be among those providing testimony regarding the complaint.

Among them are: American Omni Trading Co., American Pacific Industries Inc., Apollo Vredestein USA Inc., Bridgestone Americas, Clark Equipment Co./Bobcat Co., Deere & Co., Goodyear (plus two subsidiaries), JK Tyre & Industries, Michelin North America Inc., Specialty Tires of America Inc., Speedways Rubber Co., Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., and Tyres International Inc.

It is not known which side of the fence any of these companies sit.

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