WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has found preliminary affirmative evidence of government subsidies against imports of truck and bus tires from China.
The subsidy rates, according to the June 28 preliminary determination, were 17.06 percent against Double Coin Holdings Ltd.; 23.38 percent against Guizhou Tyre Co. Ltd.; and 20.22 percent against all other Chinese truck/bus tire producers and exporters.
Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require cash deposits from these exporters and manufacturers based on these preliminary rates, according to the Commerce fact sheet.
Commerce began its investigation Feb. 18, proceeding from a Jan. 29 petition from the United Steelworkers union seeking antidumping and countervailing duties against Chinese bus/truck tire imports because of alleged material injury to the U.S. tire industry.
The International Trade Commission held a preliminary hearing on the petition Feb. 19 and voted 4-2 on March 11 that there was sufficient evidence of material injury to continue the investigation.
Recycled, retreaded and non-pneumatic tires are specifically excluded from the investigation, Commerce said.
The USW said it welcomed the decision from Commerce.
“Today's federal determination confirms what our petitions alleged—that Chinese tire producers are receiving a wide array of government subsidies and exporting those subsidized tires to the United States,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard in a June 28 press release.
“Unfair truck tire imports from China have denied our domestic industry the opportunity to share in production and job increases in a period of robust demand growth,” Gerard said. “The U.S. imported over $1 billion of truck tires from China last year, and each of those Chinese tires means one tire less made here in the U.S. by USW members.”
According to Commerce figures, some 8.9 million truck and bus tires were imported to the U.S. from China in 2015 at a value of $1.07 billion. That compares with 6.3 million imported in 2013 at a value of $885.1 million, the agency said.
Officials of Double Coin could not be reached for comment.
Commerce said it would issue its final determination on both countervailing and antidumping duties Nov. 10. If the vote is affirmative, the ITC will proceed with its final determination of material injury, expected on or about Dec. 24. If the ITC makes a final affirmative determination, it will issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders on or about Dec. 31.