WASHINGTON — Hwa Fong Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd., Taiwan's No. 5 tire maker which goes to market under the Duro brand, has added its support to the proposal four other Taiwan tire companies put forth a week ago as an alternative to import duties.
Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd., Federal Corp., Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. and Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. Ltd. submitted a proposal to the Department of Commerce on Jan. 13 asking the U.S. government to consider suspending its antidumping investigation into imports from Taiwan in exchange for pricing oversight on shipments into the U.S.
The United Steelworkers union — which petitioned Commerce to investigate imports from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam — filed an objection to Taiwan's petition on Jan. 19.
The tire makers' proposal came three weeks after the Department of Commerce ruled that passenger and light truck tires imported from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam should be subject to anti-dumping duties ranging up to 98.44% depending on the country of origin.
In Taiwan's case, the duties are: Cheng Shin Rubber — 52.42%; Nankang Rubber Tire — 98.44%; and all others — 88.82%
In its letter to Commerce, Hwa Fong states the "extraordinary circumstances" that merit the acceptance of the proposed suspension agreement are present in this case, that the investigation is "complex" and that suspending the investigation will be more beneficial to the U.S. domestic industry than continuation of the investigation.
More generally, Hwa Fong maintains that the proposed suspension agreement includes terms reflecting each of the substantive requirements imposed by the statute. That is, the proposed agreement aims to:
- completely eliminate the injurious effect of subject imports;
- prevent the suppression or undercutting of price levels of domestic products by imports of the subject merchandise; and
- limit, for each entry of each exporter, the margin of dumping to 15% of the weighted average dumping margin for that exporter during the investigation.
Hwa Fong Rubber, the No. 67 tire maker worldwide with 2019 sales of $166 million, is represented in the U.S. by Duro Tire & Wheel Corp. of Covington, Ga.
Separately, Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. Ltd. submitted a request to Commerce asking the department to "reject and remove" from the record the USW's objections to the proposed suspension agreement, stating they are "irrelevant, premature, and untimely."
Instead, Nankang suggests the statute and regulations governing this process provide an opportunity for petitioners to comment after the Department has approved a draft suspension agreement.