WASHINGTON—The United Steelworkers union is pleased with the decision from the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration setting final antidumping and countervailing duties against passenger and light truck tires imported from China.
Meanwhile, most manufacturers and importers of Chinese tires are saying either that they plan to conduct business as usual or that they will defer comment until the International Trade Commission makes its final material injury determination July 14.
In its June 12 decision, Commerce affirmed its preliminary findings that antidumping and countervailing duties against Chinese tire imports were warranted.
The agency levied countervailing duties of 20.73 percent against Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and its Chinese subsidiaries; 37.20 percent against Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd. and its subsidiaries; 100.77 percent against Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co. Ltd.; and 30.87 percent against all other importers.
In antidumping duties, Commerce levied duties of 29.97 percent against Giti Tire; 14.35 percent against Sailun Group Co. Ltd. and its subsidiaries; 25.30 percent against 65 “separate rate” companies; and an 87.99-percent “China-wide” rate.
The extremely high duties against Shandong Yongsheng and the “China-wide” group were based on adverse facts because of the failure of those importers to participate in the investigation, Commerce said.
Commerce specifically excluded a long list of tires from the duties, including racing tires, retreaded tires, non-pneumatic tires, temporary spares, trailer and other specialty use tires, tires designed specifically for off-road use and tires whose sizes are not listed in the passenger or light truck sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book.
Giti Tire Group said it was disappointed at the decision, noting that the antidumping and countervailing duties are more than double the level the agency announced earlier in 2015.
A Cooper spokeswoman noted that the 14.72-percent offset on duties the company previously received from Commerce is still in effect, meaning that Cooper's total combined antidumping and countervailing duties will be 31.31 percent.
Cooper is waiting for the July 14 ITC vote, which will determine whether the final duties go into effect, the spokeswoman said. Preliminary duties already are being assessed.
“Until then, we will continue to monitor the situation with the overall goal of keeping Cooper and our customers competitive in the marketplace,” she said.
Cooper has low-cost production in Serbia and cost-competitive production in the U.S., as well as at its wholly owned facility in China, according to the spokeswoman.
“This footprint gives us the wherewithal to respond to a changing marketplace, whether it is due to tariffs or other factors,” she said.