LONDON—A senior figure in the United Kingdom tire sector has expressed the hope that the European Union would not follow the U.S. decision to levy taxes on Chinese tire producers, calling it “not a useful move.”
Peter Taylor OBE, director of the Imported Tyre Manufacturers' Association and secretary of the Tyre Recovery Association, said the U.S. decision to impose countervailing tariffs on tires had created market uncertainty, adding that such moves by governments and bodies could lead to retaliatory moves.
“There are plenty of European tire manufacturers in China and such moves can lead to retaliatory actions, which are not ideal,” Taylor said.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced in late November that it was setting preliminary countervailing duty subsidies for Chinese consumer tires at 15.69 percent, with a final decision on the levy amount scheduled for April 6.
“There is always the chance that the Chinese tires find their way to other markets, but I think what is more likely to happen is that U.S. consumers will end up paying more. This is not the first time these levies are being imposed, and I do not think they will work any better this time round.
“American indigenous tire makers have no appetite for budget tires, and what is likely to happen is that consumers will continue to buy budget tires but with a higher price tag,” Taylor said.
The tariffs come on the back of the U.S. authorities believing that certain Chinese tire manufacturers may have received unfair subsidies such as land and facilities.