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Vowing to fight; Tire makers take issue with duty

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WASHINGTON—China Manufacturers Alliance L.L.C./Double Coin Holdings has vowed to fight a Commerce Department review of antidumping duties on Chinese off-the-road tires that would have CMA/Double Coin paying a 105.59-percent duty rate.

“The Commerce Department's justification for ignoring actual sales and cost data from CMA and Double Coin is questionable in our case,” said Dan Porter, an attorney representing CMA/Double Coin, in a news release.

“Even though the Commerce Department explicitly found that CMA's sale prices were well above market economy costs of production, and therefore had no dumping, their preliminary determination is to still impose an arbitrary antidumping duty rate of 105 percent,” he said.

On Oct. 10, the Commerce Department published preliminary results of a review of antidumping duties on Chinese OTR tires for the period between Sept. 1, 2012 and Aug. 31, 2013.

The agency reviewed five companies: CMA/Double Coin; Guizhou Tyre Co. Ltd.; Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd.; Weihai Zhongwei Rubber Co. Ltd.; and Trelleborg Wheel Systems (Xingtai) China Co. Ltd.

Trelleborg submitted data showing that it did not ship OTR tires to the U.S. in 2012-13, and was excused from the review, Commerce said. The agency levied duties of 16.88 percent against Guizhou, Zhongce and Weihai.

For CMA/Double Coin, however, the agency ordered it pay high antidumping duties mandated for general OTR tire shipments from the People's Republic of China.

This was because Commerce ruled that Double Coin Holdings (including Shanghai Heavy Tire), Double Coin Rugao/Jiangsu and Double Coin Donghai were the same entity, creating “significant potential for manipulation of price” between the OTR tires produced by the three companies.

Porter said the Commerce Department's interpretations were mistaken.

“The Commerce Department made this decision entirely because CMA's largest shareholder, Double Coin, is a publicly traded company in China whose largest stockholder, Huayi, is a state-owned company,” Porter said. “The Commerce Department assumed this state-owned company influenced CMA's U.S. sales of Double Coin tires.”

Because this is a preliminary decision, CMA/Double Coin will have the opportunity to argue against high duties for its OTR tire imports.

“CMA is an American brand and company operating in the United States, and they have been found to be conducting business properly,” he said. “Needless to say, CMA is quite surprised by this initial ruling, which appears to be based on a misunderstanding of the evidence.”

CMA/Double Coin is headquartered in Monrovia, Calif.