Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan president and CEO, said the entire situation never would have happened if the U.S. had never granted China Most Favored Nation status.
"Look at China in 1992, and then look at China today," Taylor said. "(President) Clinton made China a Most Favored Nation. He should have gone to jail for it."
The Chinese tire makers have fought the duties in federal court since their inception. In September 2009, Judge Jane Restani of the CIT ruled that Commerce was guilty of "double-counting" by levying both countervailing and antidumping duties against Chinese OTR tires.
Restani reaffirmed her own verdict in August 2010 and remanded the duty decision to Commerce. In March 2011, the World Trade Organization Appellant Body also ruled that Commerce erred in levying both countervailing and antidumping duties against the Chinese.
In December 2011, the Federal Circuit appeals court ruled that the federal government did not have the authority to levy countervailing duties against goods from China and other non-market-economy countries.
In light of widespread protest against the appeals court decision, Congress passed and President Obama signed an amendment to the Tariff Act of 1930, authorizing the use of countervailing duties against goods from China and other NME countries.
Three companies promptly filed suit before the CIT, arguing that the new law was unconstitutional. They were Tianjin, Hebei Starbright and GPX International Tire Corp.
GPX, Hebei Starbright's former U.S. owner, was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009, and eventually sold most of its assets to Alliance Tire (1992) U.S.A. Ltd. MITL Acquisition Corp. purchased GPX's solid tire manufacturing business, which became Maine Industrial Tire L.L.C. Trelleborg Wheel Systems S.p.A. acquired Maine Industrial Tire at the end of 2012.
In January 2012, Judge Restani of the CIT ruled the plaintiffs did not prove their contention that the countervailing duty law violates both the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution, which forbids retroactive criminalization of behaviors or activities, and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Ms. Restani did find fault with Commerce's evaluation of countervailing duties, and remanded them for redetermination. On Oct. 30, 2013, after Ms. Restani had reviewed Commerce's new numbers, she approved them and sustained both the agency's actions and the new law.
Ms. Restani's final ruling gave the plaintiffs leave to appeal before the Federal Circuit appeals court. The next action in the case is expected in March.