No matter which side you come down on regarding the anti-dumping and count-ervailing duties levied against Chinese passenger and light truck tires imported into the U.S., it's good to have a final decision made on the issue.
After months of uncertainty, Chinese tire makers, importers, competing manufacturers, private branders, retreaders, tire dealers and distributors now know for certain what the impact of the duties will be and how they will affect their operations.
Prior to the affirmative vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission on whether the U.S. tire manufacturing industry was suffering material injury because of passenger and light truck tire imports from China, decision making involving China-made passenger and light truck tires was in limbo.
Companies could only guess at what the decision might be and how it could impact their operationsincluding whether they still would be able to be competitive in the U.S. market.
With the duties officially announced and having gone into effect July 18, the playing field is again clear. Now, decisions based on fact can be made on how and if to move forward.
Some Chinese tire makers hit by the highest duties will rethink their plans for selling tires in the U.S. Others, with global aspirations, will find a way to sell their products here, either by moving production from China to other countries with lower tariffs, adjusting to the duties or by building a U.S. plant, such as Giti Tire Group is doing.
Either way, with the decision made, the industry can now move forward and adjust to the new rules as each company sees fit.
If ever there was a time to make your voice heard about proposed legislation that could negatively impact tire dealers it is now.
Rhetoric is ratcheting up over efforts to re-establish mandatory tire registration, with the two major tire industry associations facing off against each other.
The Tire Industry Association vows to fight to the end to keep tire registration voluntary, while the Rubber Manufacturers Association is pushing to reinstate mandatory registration, which would require independent tire dealers to register the tires they sell or face stiff fines if they fail to do so.
A bill that includes a provision for mandatory tire registration passed in the Senate July 30.
We urge tire dealers to take the time to understand the ramifications of what a return to mandatory tire registration might be for them. Then speak up and let your representatives in Congress and your state and national tire dealer associations know your position on this subject.
This is too important an issue to ignore. Make your voice heard.