ITC releases final report on Chinese tires decision
WASHINGTON (Aug. 18, 2015) — The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued its final report on countervailing, antidumping decisions for Chinese passenger and light truck tires — one week ahead of the statutory deadline.
In its report, the agency restated that the ITC's six commissioners reached opposite conclusions on the same data in their split 3-3 decision on whether to find that Chinese passenger and light truck tire imports had caused material injury to the U.S. tire industry.
This was the expected finding from the ITC's final report on the Chinese tire investigation, which was issued on the ITC website Aug. 17.
The ITC made its affirmative decision in the Chinese tire case July 14. According to ITC rules, a 3-3 decision constitutes a “Yes” vote on material injury.
“Subject imports from China pervasively undersold the domestic like product at sizeable and increasing margins throughout the period of investigation (POI),” said the three commissioners — Vice Chairman Dean A. Pinkert and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson and Rhonda K. Schmidtlein — in the highly redacted, 230-page final report.
“Specifically, subject imports from China pervasively undersold the domestic-like product in 72 of 72 possible quarterly comparisons, or 100 percent of the time,” the commissioners wrote.
However, according to the dissenting commissioners — Chairman Meredith M. Broadbent and Commissioners David S. Johanson and F. Scott Kieff — the sales of Chinese tires at less than fair value did not mean the U.S. tire manufacturing industry was suffering material injury because of it.
“The domestic industry was able to maintain steady levels of output and employment during the POI,” the dissenting commissioners wrote.
“While the domestic industry lost market share during a time of rising demand, we have found that the decline in market share was not directly related to subject import volume increases, and the decline in market share coincided with significant improvement in the domestic industry's financial position,” they wrote.
In the wake of the ITC's affirmative material injury decision, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a notice in the Aug. 10 Federal Register, setting final countervailing duty levels against Chinese tire manufacturers and importers from 20.73 to 166.33 percent, and antidumping duty levels of 14.35 to 87.99 percent.
The notice from Commerce also directed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting the duties.
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