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California bill no longer includes zinc or tires

SACRAMENTO—A bill in the California Senate that would have severely restricted the use of zinc or zinc oxide in tires has been revised, no longer mentioning zinc or tires.

Introduced Feb. 18, California Senate Bill 1260 would have banned the sale of motor vehicle tires in California that contained more than a certain amount of zinc by weight.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association, the International Zinc Association and other groups opposed the measure and planned to create a coalition to fight it.

In a March 18 letter to bill sponsor Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, the RMA stated flatly that tire manufacturing is impossible without zinc oxide.

Zinc oxide is a crucial activator in vulcanization, and banning or restricting zinc oxide in tires would require extensive changes in tire composition that could well affect tire safety, according to the letter signed by Anne Forristall Luke, RMA president and CEO.

Shortly thereafter, Allen withdrew SB 1260, then introduced a revised version that concerns stormwater only, with no mention of zinc or tires.

Commerce Dept. postpones countervailing investigation

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has postponed its preliminary countervailing duty determination in its investigation of truck and bus tires imported from China.

The new date for its countervailing duty determination is June 27, moved from the original date of April 25, according to a March 31 Federal Register notice from the Commerce Department's International Trade Commission.

The United Steelworkers union, which petitioned the International Trade Commission Jan. 29 for antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of Chinese truck and bus tires, requested the postponement.

According to Commerce, the USW said the Chinese subsidy programs under review were too complex and numerous to allow a countervailing duty determination by April 25.

Correction

In the March 21 issue of Rubber & Plastics News, a story on Consumer Reports' top tire picks for 2016 misidentified two tires from Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. In the All-Season category, the tire recommended is the CS5 Grand Touring tire, and in the Truck/SUV category, the Cooper Discoverer SRX is the recommended tire.