China trade group to appeal U.S. tire duties
Jane Ho, Crain News Service
BEIJING (Jan. 30, 2015) — The China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA) is planning to organize an appeal by domestic tire makers against the recent U.S. decision to impose anti-dumping duties on passenger and light truck tires imported from China.
“To issue such high duty rates would impair China's tire manufacturing sector as well as harm the interests of American consumers,” CRIA said in a statement issued Jan. 22.
CRIA stated that the decision by the U.S Department of Commerce was based on an investigation that did not involve any U.S. companies' claiming for damage compensation against overseas firms.
This, the statement said, is “unheard of in Sino-U.S. trade relations.”
“Over the past three years U.S. tire manufacturers registered over $3.8 billion of profit, and no damage was caused to the industry by China's tire export,” the CRIA added.
The Chinese trade association said research on 46 of its tire maker members — covering various contributing factors including the U.S. tariffs — showed that tire production of the companies dropped 17 percent year-on-year in January 2015 from the same period a year aog.
CRIA's statement dovetails with criticism of the duties by China's Ministry of Commerce, which earlier this week called the U.S. government's action a “flawed decision” prompted not by the tire industry itself but by the United Steelworkers labor union.
China's Ministry of Commerce's trade remedy and investigation bureau issued a statement quoting a senior official as saying that the Chinese government was “deeply concerned” and that the case against the country's tire makers had “many flaws.”
The ministry also cited the U.S. tire industry's profitability as a sign that it has not been damaged by imports and that U.S. investigators disregarded relevant World Trade Organization decisions and instead “stuck to their unreasonable practice, refusing to give Chinese state-owned enterprises involved in the case separate tax rates.”
“We hope the U.S. can learn the lesson and handle this case with caution, so as to avoid damaging once again the trade and cooperation between the relevant industries in the two countries and creating inharmonious elements in Sino-U.S. trade,” a ministry official concluded.
Jane Ho is a special correspondent for European Rubber Journal, a sister publication of Tire Business. ERJ Editor Patrick Raleigh contributed.
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