WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce is facing a deadline of Oct. 9 to issue its ruling on the agency's "sunset" review of antidumping and countervailing duties on consumer tires from China, according to a recent notice in the Federal Register.
The timeline for disclosing its decision on this matter is an "expedited process" after Commerce did not receive an "adequate substantive" response to its July 1 notice that it was accepting comments on the sunset review process, which takes place automatically on the fifth anniversary of AD and/or CVD orders taking effect.
Commerce's International Trade Commission (ITC) opened the regulatory review process July 1 of AD and CVD orders imposed in August 2015 on imports of certain passenger and light truck tires from China, as proscribed in the original orders.
The ITC's directive is to "determine whether revocation of the (AD) and (CVD) duty orders on certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury."
Interested parties had until July 31 to submit comments on the matter.
The antidumping duties imposed in August 2015 ranged from 14.4% to 87.9% and countervailing duties ranged from 20.7% to 100.8%, depending on manufacturer. The "China-wide" rates were 30.9% and 87.8%, respectively.
Since the imposition of these duties, imports of passenger tires from China have fallen nearly 95% to 2.8 million units last year from 50.4 million units in 2014, according to U.S. Commerce Department data. Through the first six months of 2020, they fell even further, dropping 42.2% to 905,444.
Five-year "sunset" reviews of import duties are required because of language in the Uruguay Round Agreements Implementation Act, approved in late 1994 and to which the U.S. is a signatory.
The Oct. 9 deadline for the agency to issue its opinion is 120 days after the initial notification of the sunset review process.
The United Steelworkers union (USW) — whose petition in 2014 led to the issuance of the AD order in 2015 — argued in its submission on that matter that "revocation of the AD order under review would lead to the continuation or recurrence of sales at less-than-fair values (LTFV) at margins equivalent to or greater than those found in the original investigation."
The USW contends that the record demonstrates that shipments of the subject merchandise have decreased significantly since the issuance of the order, but "dumping has continued above 'de minimis' levels."