LONDONA senior figure in the United Kingdom tire sector has expressed the hope that the European Union would not follow the U.S. government's decision to levy duties on Chinese tire producers, calling it not a useful move.
Peter Taylor, director of the Imported Tyre Manufacturers' Association (ITMA) and secretary of the Tyre Recovery Association, said the U.S. decision to impose countervailing duties on passenger and light truck tires from China had created market uncertainty.
Such moves by governments and bodies could lead to retaliatory moves, he said.
There are plenty of European tire manufacturers in China and such moves can lead to retaliatory actions, which are not ideal, he said in an interview with European Rubber Journal, a United Kingdom-based sister publication of Tire Business.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced late November that it was setting preliminary countervailing duty subsidy for Chinese consumer tires at 15.69 percent, with a final decision on the levy amount scheduled for April 6, 2015. (See related story on page 1.)
There is always the chance that the Chinese tires find their way to other markets, but I think what is more likely to happen is that U.S. consumers will end up paying more, he said.
This is not the first time these levies are being imposed, and I do not think they will work any better this time round.
American indigenous tire makers have no appetite for budget tires, Mr. Taylor added, and what is likely to happen is that consumers will continue to buy budget tires but with a higher price tag.