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Titan Lauds Commerce Department Ruling

Titan International Inc. offered its comments in the aftermath of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision earlier this week to impose preliminary countervailing duties on new OTR tires imported into the U.S.

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The Commerce Department found Chinese tiremakers exporting to the U.S. were benefiting from government-sponsored subsidies, which out U.S. tiremakers at a market disadvantage. The subsidy margins ranged from 2.38% to 6.59%, said the Commerce Department.

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“Today’s determination sends a signal to producers in China that they have to start playing by the rules of game just like everyone else,” said Titan Chairman and CEO Morry Taylor. “Tire producers in China benefit from government subsidies that give them an illegitimate advantage in our market, and it is the U.S. industry and American workers who have suffered as a result. Hopefully today’s decision will start to counteract the damage being done by China’s unfair subsidies.”

The subsidies afforded China-based tiremakers included loans from government-owned banks, tax breaks, government grants, and access to low-cost rubber and land, according to the Commerce Department report.

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“While Titan believes that these preliminary margins are lower than the full amount of subsidization benefiting OTR producers in China, we are hopeful that more accurate information on the full scope of subsidies will be collected as the investigation proceeds,” said Taylor. “We will be participating actively to see that the department demands cooperative responses from the government of China and Chinese tire producers regarding subsidies to the industry, and we will advocate for the fair and effective administration of the law. Only by vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws against unfair imports can we start to level the playing field for the U.S. tire industry.”

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Titan noted that the Commerce Department report this week is separate from an ongoing antidumping investigation on OTR tires from China. The Department will make a preliminary antidumping determination regarding OTR tires from China in February of next year. (Tire Review/Akron)

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