NEW YORK (Oct. 30, 2009)—The U.S. Department of Commerce has until late December to respond to a directive from the U.S. Court of International Trade to review its 2008 determination of antidumping duties against certain OTR tires from China.
The CIT issued it directive Sept. 18 after ruling the Commerce Department's calculations of duties based on both antidumping and countervailing measurements amounted to “double counting.”
The CIT's ruling resulted from a suit brought Dec. 30, 2008, by OTR tire importer/marketer GPX International Inc. against Bridgestone Americas Inc., Titan Tire Inc. and the United Steelworkers union.
GPX since has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection—citing the excessive duties as its main reason—and is seeking to sell most of its assets.
Titan and the USW originally petitioned the Commerce Department in 2007 for relief, contending that Chinese OTR tire imports were causing material injury to U.S. OTR tire makers. Bridgestone later lent its support to the matter.
The department determined in February 2008 that Chinese manufacturers and/or exporters of certain OTR tires will have to pay duties of up to 210 percent above the wholesale value of each tire.
In GPX's case, the Commerce department determined GPX's Hebei Starbright Tire Co. Ltd. would have to pay 43.9-percent duties on tires it exported to the U.S.
The department said at that time imports of the targeted tires from China were nearly 15 million units in 2006, up 21 percent from 2005. The value of those shipments was put at $339.6 million. The scope of the petition does not include tires for aircraft, all-terrain vehicles, lawn-and-garden-type vehicles or tires greater than 39 inches in rim diameter for mining and construction equipment.
In the court's decision, CIT Chief Judge Jane Rastani ordered the department to review its procedures for imposing duties by either forgoing countervailing duties on the merchandise in question or to adopt additional policies and procedures to adapt its methodologies for determining duties to account for countervailing remedies.
Judge Rastani gave the Commerce Department 90 days to file its remand. GPX, Bridgestone, Titan and Tianjin United Tire & Rubber International Inc.—all parties to the original antidumping investigation—will have 11 days thereafter to file any objections and the department will have seven days after that comment period closes to file its response.