WASHINGTONTitan Tire Corp. and the United Steelworkers (USW) union received a split decision at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in their second joint petition in less than a decade regarding Asian off-the-road tire imports.
On Feb. 19, the ITC voted 6-0 that there was reasonable indication of material injury against the U.S. OTR tire industry because of imports of mounted and unmounted OTR tires from India and Sri Lanka.
At the same time, however, the ITC voted 6-0 that imports of mounted OTR tires from China are negligible. This means the investigation of mounted OTR tires from China is terminated, but the probe of OTR tires from India and Sri Lanka continues.
Titan and the USW filed their petition Jan. 8, seeking countervailing and antidumping duties against mounted Chinese OTR
tires and both mounted and unmounted OTR tires from India and Sri Lanka.
Unmounted tires from Chinaagainst which Titan and the USW won high countervailing and antidumping duties in 2008were excluded from the petitions. (The ITC and the Commerce Department renewed the duties in 2014 after a routine review.)
Commerce initiated antidumping and countervailing investigations against China and India and a countervailing duty investigation against Sri Lanka Jan. 29, the same day the ITC held a preliminary hearing on the issue.
In the fact sheet it issued Feb. 4, Commerce said it found dumping margins of 11.2 to 77.69 percent on the Chinese tires and 10.77 to 76.45 percent on the Indian tires. Estimated subsidies for all three countries were above de minimis, which Commerce defines as less than 1 percent for developed countries and less than 2 percent for developing countries.
In a Feb. 22 statement, USW International President Leo W. Gerard said he was generally pleased with the ITC's Feb. 19 decision on OTR tires. The commission vote puts USW-represented workers one step closer to the relief they need from unfairly traded off-the-road tires.
Countries around the world are dumping and subsidizing their products to take advantage of our market, forcing us to fight unfair trade after injury has already been inflicted.
Although Mr. Gerard said he was disappointed the ITC ruled against pursuing an investigation against China, he noted the duties against unmounted Chinese tires continue.
In a Feb. 24 release, Titan Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor also expressed disappointment that the ITC did not choose to pursue an investigation against mounted Chinese OTR tires, but added the company would review the ITC's full decision when it becomes available and consider what actions, if any, it could take in response. At the same time, he said he was gratified that the commission found evidence of material injury caused by Indian and Sri Lankan imports.
In a release issued Feb. 15, four days before the ITC vote, Mr. Taylor said he would seek all legal avenues to fight OTR tire imports from all three countries.
Titan has contacted its lawyers to review current federal laws to see if it is possible to seek civil relief against importers of tires mounted on steel wheel assemblies, Mr. Taylor said.
Meanwhile, Commerce is scheduled to issue its preliminary countervailing duty findings against Sri Lanka and India on or about April 4, and its preliminary antidumping duty findings against India on or about June 16.
To reach this reporter: mmoore@ crain.com