WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce now has until mid-May to issue a preliminary decision on imposing elevated import duties on truck/bus tires from Thailand.
The delay, published in the Feb. 8 Federal Register, will push that declaration back 50 days from the original deadline, to no later than May 14. The deadline for the final determination of this investigation will be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination, unless postponed, the federal agency said.
The commissioners of the International Trade Commission (ITC) voted Nov. 30 to authorize an investigation into allegations that certain manufacturers based in Thailand are selling truck/bus tires in the U.S. at less than fair valuation.
The investigation is in response to a petition from the United Steelworkers (USW) union, which is seeking elevated anti-dumping duties on truck/bus tires from Thailand.
Based on research it conducted over several months in 2022-2023, the USW claims that Thai truck/bus tires are being dumped in the U.S. at margins up to 47.8%.
The delay is in line with a request made by the USW — and in accordance with provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930 — due to the "complexity of the issues presented in this investigation."
Section 733(c)(1) of the Tariff Act allows Commerce to postpone the preliminary determination until no later than 190 days after the date when the investigation was approved under certain conditions, including a "timely request" by the petitioner.
Overall, imports of medium truck/bus tires shot up 38% in 2022 to a record 23.9 million units. Thailand led the sector with 10.2 million units, up 44.6% over 2021 and accounting for nearly 43% of all imports, according to Tire Business' analysis of the available import/export data.
A large percentage of truck/bus tires imported from Thailand are from subsidiaries of Chinese tire makers such as Double Coin, Jiangsu General Science Technology, Shandong Linglong, Prinx Chengshan, Sentury Group and ZC Rubber.
In 2023, however, imports of medium truck/bus tires from Thailand fell 35.3% in the first nine months of the year versus the year-ago period, to just under 5 million units. That still represents 40% of all import, however, as overall truck/bus tire imports dropped 29.4% during the nine-month period to 12.7 million units.