WASHINGTON—The Department of Commerce has determined that passenger and light truck tires imported from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam should be subject to antidumping duties ranging up to 98.44 percent depending on the country of origin.
Commerce's decision, published Dec. 30, is in response to petitions filed in early May by the United Steelworkers union, which claim tire producers from these regions are dumping their products in the U.S. at margins ranging from as low as 5.48 percent (Vietnam) to as high as 217.5 percent (Thailand).
Commerce has ruled the following preliminary duties should be imposed:
- South Korea—14.24 percent to 38.07 percent. For individual companies, the duties are: Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd., 38.07 percent; Nexen Tire Corp., 14.14 percent; and all others, 27.81 percent.
- Taiwan—52.42 percent to 98.44 percent. Specific company rates are: Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd., 52.42 percent; Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. Ltd., 98.44 percent; and all others, 88.82 percent.
- Thailand—13.25 percent to 22.21 percent. Specific company rates are: LLIT Thailand Co. Ltd., 22.21 percent; Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) Co. Ltd., 13.25 percent; and all others, 16.66 percent.
- Vietnam—countrywide entity, 22.3 percent. Excluded are: Sailun Vietnam Co. Ltd.; Kenda Rubber (Vietnam) Co. Ltd.; Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing Vietnam L.L.C.; Kumho Tire (Vietnam) Co. Ltd.; and Yokohama Tyre Vietnam Co. Ltd.
As a result of the agency's decision, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been directed to collect cash deposits from importers of passenger and light truck tires from these three nations and Taiwan based on the preliminary rates noted here.
Commerce is scheduled to announce its final determinations in these cases on or about May 14, 2021, unless this deadline is extended. Affected parties will be given the opportunity to comment.
If Commerce's final determinations are affirmative, the U.S. International Trade Commission will be scheduled to make its final injury determinations on or about June 28, 2021. If Commerce makes affirmative final determinations of dumping and the ITC makes affirmative final injury determinations, Commerce will issue AD orders.
Commerce was supposed to rule on the case back in early November, but agreed to delay the deadline by 50 days in response to a request from the USW.
Commerce voted in June to initiate antidumping and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations in this matter.
Passenger and light truck imports from these four countries increased nearly 20 percent from 2017 to 2019, reaching 85.3 million tires, valued at over $4 billion—$1.96 billion for Thailand; $1.17 billion for South Korea; $496.6 million for Vietnam; and $373 million for Taiwan.
The rise in these imports coincided with a drastic decline in imports from China following the imposition of elevated import duties starting in 2015.
Through the first nine months of 2020, imports of P/LT tires from Thailand and South Korea fell 5.1 percent and 23.6 percent, respectively, while those from Vietnam rose 8.4 percent and Taiwan's were essentially unchanged.
The USW represents approximately 12,000 workers at eight consumer tire factories operated by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (Findlay, Ohio, and Texarkana, Ark.); Goodyear (Fayetteville, N.C., and Topeka, Kan.); Michelin North America Inc. (Fort Wayne, Ind., and Tuscaloosa, Ala.); Sumitomo Rubber North America (Tonawanda, N.Y.); and Yokohama Tire Corp. (Salem, Va.)
Among the companies affected by Commerce's ruling are: Achilles Tires USA Inc.; American Kenda Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd.; American Omni Trading Co.; Duro Tire & Wheel; Federal Tire North America Inc.; Foreign Tire Sales Inc.; Horizon Tire Inc.; Linglong Americas Inc.; Maxxis International—USA; Nexen Tire America Inc.; Sentury Tire USA Inc.; TBC Corp.; Tireco Inc.; Vee Tyre & Rubber Co.; and Zafco International L.L.C.