WASHINGTONThe U.S. Department of Commerce has revised the pending countervailing duty rate on passenger and light truck tires imported from China down by nearly 3.7 percentage points.
Commerce cited significant ministerial errors in the way it calculated certain sales denominators as the reason for the change.
The revised rate for all but a few excepted manufacturers is now 12.03 percent, the department said, down from 15.69 percent.
Separately, Commerce lowered the duty rate on Giti Tire (Fujian) Co. Ltd. and certain cross-owned companies to 11.74 percent from 17.69 percent.
In explaining the revision, the department said the errors resulted primarily from its calculation of Giti Fujian's subsidy rate, the extent of which resulted in a change that was at least 5 absolute percentage points and more than 25 percent of the original [incorrect] rate.
The department said it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to require a cash deposit equal to the estimated amended countervailing duty rates reflected in this notice for GITI Fujian (11.74 percent) and all-other exporters or producers (12.03 percent).
The changes do not apply to Cooper Kunshan Tire Co. Ltd. or Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co. Ltd., which were levied duty rates of 12.5 and 81.29 percent, respectively.
All the countervailing duties are in addition to a prevailing 4-percent import tariff.
Commerce is expected to announce its decision regarding separate antidumping duties on or before April 6.
After Commerce publishes its final determination, the department's International Trade Commission will review the decisions and make public its separate determination within 45 days.
At presstime, Tire Business was still awaiting comment from the affected parties.
The amended ruling also revised the language pertaining to the marking requirements for ST-type trailer tires, which are exempted from the countervailing duties.
Based on comments submitted to Commerce by CTP Transportation Products L.L.C. and Carlisle (Meizhou) Rubber Products Co. Ltd., ST-type trailer tires won't have to be marked with load index and speed rating markings.
CTP and its Carlisle (Meizhou) subsidiary argued that requiring such markings would impose substantial financial burdens on exporters of the ST-type trailer tires that are produced in adherence with industry practices.