SHANGHAI (June 19, 2009)—Tire makers in China already are considering contingencies in the wake of the U.S. International Trade Commission's ruling in favor of a United Steelworkers petition to restrict tire imports from China under Section 421 of the U.S. Trade Act.
Shandong Linglong Rubber Co. Ltd., commenting before the ITC's ruling June 18, said it would “have to look to new markets” if the U.S. imposes quotas.
Aftermarket and contract tire maker Hangzhou Shunyuan Tire Manufacture Co. Ltd.'s export manager Bayron Liu said, “Africa business is very good. These months Africa is getting better and better.”
Liu said they are selling about 500,000 tires a year in Africa.
Tier 2 and Tier 3 tire makers seem to be the most affected by the situation as they have been mainly reliant on filling that gap in the U.S. market for cheaper, non Tier 1 level tires.
Chinese tire exporter Sinotyre International Co. Ltd. also is looking at alternative markets in anticipation of the quotas.
Staff at Sinotyre said shipments to the U.S. have been halted indefinitely. This is forcing them to concentrate on developing business in other markets.
In 2008, Sinotyre International exported 2 million tires to Africa, and now the firm is planning sales promotions there to further boost sales there.