MONROVIA, Calif.—A top executive of the exclusive distributor of Double Coin tires in the U.S. said the Commerce Department's affirmative preliminary antidumping determination against Chinese truck and bus tires will only hurt purchasers of those tires.
“We believe it's an unfortunate and misguided approach to what's going on in the industry,” said Walt Weller, senior vice president of Monrovia-based China Manufacturers Alliance L.L.C.
“The reality is that, in spite of this ruling, there is not enough truck and bus tire production in the domestic market to meet U.S. demand,” Weller said.
On Aug. 29, Commerce handed down a decision finding an antidumping margin of 22.57 percent against Double Coin and other Chinese truck and bus tire producers and distributors. Still other Chinese companies, including Prinx Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co. Ltd., received dumping findings of 20.87 percent.
The United Steelworkers union, which petitioned for antidumping and countervailing duties against Chinese truck and bus imports last Jan. 29, lauded Commerce's decision as a victory for U.S. tire workers.
Weller, however, said the ruling would make little difference to U.S. truck and bus tire production.
“It would take between five and eight good-sized new truck tire plants to be able to supply domestic demand, and that's not going to happen overnight on account of this ruling,” he said.
“There will still be a large volume of tires coming in from China, because no other country has the capacity to meet demand,” Weller said. “The only change is that end-users are going to pay more for them. It's as simple as that.”
Double Coin is especially disappointed in Commerce's antidumping determination, according to Weller.
“We feel like we're being penalized while we're playing by the rules,” he said.
China imported 8.9 million truck and bus tires worth $1.07 billion to the U.S. in 2015, up from 6.3 million tires worth $885 million in 2013, Commerce said.