WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has ruled preliminarily that Vietnamese tire exporters and producers have benefited from government subsidies—including an undervalued currency—and therefore should be subject to import duties.
The Department's investigation into what the United Steelworkers union calls "unfairly traded" imports of car and light truck tires determined the Vietnamese government subsidies amounted to between 6.23 percent and 10.08 percent.
This determination is the first time the U.S. government has made an affirmative determination in a countervailing duty case based on a foreign currency with a "unitary" exchange rate, according to the USW, which filed a complaint against Vietnam in May.
The Commerce Department is scheduled to announce its final determination in the case on or about March 16, 2021, although this deadline may be extended.
USW International President Thomas Conway applauded the determination and called for continued vigilance against unfair and illegal trade practices.
"We are gratified with results of the Department of Commerce's investigation and acknowledgment that currency manipulation has disrupted our market," Conway said. "Clearly, the fight for a level playing field must continue. In almost every industry the USW represents workers, our jobs are vulnerable to illegally traded foreign imports, and our families and communities are the first to suffer the consequences."
In addition to its CVD actions on Vietnamese tires, Commerce is conducting antidumping duty investigations of passenger tires from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, with preliminary determinations scheduled to be announced Dec. 29.