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Commerce issues primary OTR determination

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WASHINGTON—Off-the-road tires imported from India and Sri Lanka are being subsidized, the U.S. Department of Commerce said in a preliminary countervailing duty determination issued June 14.

In the case of India, Commerce found subsidies of 4.7 percent on OTR tires from Balkrishna Industries Ltd., 7.64 percent from ATC Tires Private Ltd. and 6.17 percent from all others.

The agency found subsidies of 2.9 percent on imports from Sri Lankan OTR tire producer Camso Loadstar and also from all other Sri Lankan OTR tire makers.

Camso, formerly known as Camoplast Solideal and parent company to Camso Loadstar, said it disputes the Commerce countervailing duty ruling.

“We do not benefit from unfair subsidies and, as such, believe the claim is without merit,” said Jay Dhillon, vice president, North America-Aftermarket Division for the Magog, Quebec-based manufacturer.

“We're competitive in our pricing and operate with integrity to deliver what's best for our clients: premium enhanced tires and tracks for OTR mobility solutions,” Dhillon said.

Oct. 27 is the approximate date for Commerce's final determination on countervailing duties in the case. If the agency finds affirmative evidence of subsidies, the International Trade Commission will then make a final determination on whether the U.S. OTR tire industry is being materially injured by Indian and Sri Lankan OTR tire imports.

The ITC ruling is due on or about Dec. 12. If it is affirmative, countervailing duty orders will be issued on or about Dec. 19.

Commerce announced the initiation of OTR tire import investigations Feb. 4, after receiving petitions from Titan Tire Corp. and the United Steelworkers union.

The investigations include an antidumping investigation against OTR tires from China and India, as well as the countervailing duty investigation against Indian and Sri Lankan tires.

At the time of initiation, Commerce found countervailing duty levels to be above de minimis, which the agency defines as less than 1 percent for developed nations and less than 2 percent for developing ones.

The agency found antidumping duty margins to be much higher, ranging from 11.2 to 77.69 percent for Chinese OTR tires, 10.77 to 76.45 percent for Indian tires.

At the same time, imports of the subject tires declined steeply between 2012 and 2014, according to Commerce. For India alone, OTR tire imports to the U.S. decreased from $241.3 million in 2012 to $167.3 million in 2014. For Sri Lanka, imports to the U.S. fell from $97.2 million in 2012 to $76.8 million in 2014.

Commerce was originally scheduled to make its preliminary antidumping determination June 22 and announce its decision June 25. However, after Titan and the USW requested a postponement to allow them to study the large number of relevant documents, the agency postponed the antidumping determination until on or about Aug. 14.

The countervailing and antidumping duty investigations exclude several classes of OTR tires. If a subject tire is mounted on a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered in the investigation, Commerce said. Certain OTR tires that enter attached to a vehicle are also excluded, it said.

All non-OTR tires are specifically excluded from the investigations, the agency said.