FINDLAY, Ohio (Aug. 8, 2014) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. executives feel the company will not be as impacted by the likely implementation of U.S. duties starting next year on imports of consumer tires from China as it was in 2009-12 because the company's product mix is more high end now.
“We're 25- to 30-percent less exposed today than where we were before,” Cooper Chairman, CEO and President Roy Armes told financial analysts in an Aug. 7 conference call.
Ultimately, although the company is moving farther away from the lower end, these tariffs do make a disruption, so Cooper will have to adjust as needed. Mr. Armes noted that the last time the tariffs were in place, other imports were still coming in.
“At the same time we saw other countries enter into the market and pick up a lot of slack on these import because during that period of time of the tariffs, imports continued to increase,” he added.
The International Trade Commission has made a decision on the antidumping and countervailing duty investigation against certain passenger and light truck imports and the Department of Commerce is conducting further investigation and determination.
Although the outcome of the duties determination is still unknown, Mr. Armes said, “based on our past experience, we know that tariffs have been disruptive to a normal market and if they are imposed again they're likely to be disruptive again.
“Tariffs are felt in the market place where they are being applied, but they also often affect other markets. We continue to support free and fair trade in a globally competitive market.”