Import duties — both antidumping and countervailing — imposed by the U.S. government grabbed headlines in 2018.
The biggest news came in early November, when the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) remanded to the International Trade Commission (ITC) its February 2017 negative injury determination on truck and bus tires from China.
The ITC now must reconsider its decision that Chinese truck and bus tire imports were not causing material injury to the U.S. tire industry.
The reversal was prompted by an appeal lodged by the United Steelworkers union, which originally petitioned the ITC in January 2016 for countervailing and antidumping duties against Chinese truck and bus tires.
The CIT ruled the commission erred in finding neither price dampening nor threats to U.S. tire production.
Advocacy group Retread Instead applauded the remand as well, arguing that cheap Chinese truck tires that are both non-retreadable and cheaper than retreads threaten the U.S. retread industry.
In addition, CIT granted the U.S. Department of Commerce's motion to dismiss a case brought against it by Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd.
Commerce levied a 119.46-percent countervailing duty rate against Zhongce in March 2018. Zhongce appealed, but a CIT judge agreed with Commerce that Zhongce had failed to exhaust its administrative remedies before filing for an injunction against the agency.
Meanwhile, the ITC is set to hear a case on Jan. 8 on proposed antidumping and countervailing import duties on certain steel commercial vehicle wheels from China.
The Commerce Department proposed antidumping duties ranging up to 231.7 percent and countervailing duties ranging from 48.75 to 172.51 percent on on-the-road steel wheels, discs and rims for tubeless tires with nominal rim diameters of 22.5 and 24.5 inches, regardless of width.
The Commerce investigation into this category is in response to a petition brought in April by Accuride Corp. of Evansville, Ind., and Maxion Wheels Akron L.L.C. of Akron. Such wheels generally are used on Class 6, 7, and 8 commercial vehicles. including tractors, semi-trailers, dump trucks and buses.
Commerce also is scheduled to release in early January a preliminary determination on imports of 12- to 16.5-inch steel wheels for trailers from China, in a case filed by Dexstar Wheel Co. Ltd., an Elkhart, Ind.-based steel wheel manufacturer.