WASHINGTON — The International Trade Commission (ITC), which held a hearing this week on the antidumping duties case involving consumer tires from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, is scheduled to release its decision(s) on the case on June 23.
The case then goes back to the U.S. Commerce Department, which is scheduled to publish the agency's final ruling on the investigation on or about July 12, according to the ITC.
Supporters and opponents of the imposition of antidumping duties on passenger and light truck (P/LT) tires from the four Asian lands squared off May 25 to plead their cases virtually in a hearing hosted by the ITC.
The hearing — which pitted the United Steelworkers (USW) union against representatives of a dozen companies and national governments — followed by a few days the disclosure by Commerce of its "final" determination that P/LT tire imports from the four targeted Asian lands "are being, or are likely to be, sold in the U.S. at less-than-fair value" for the period of investigation, covering April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2020.
Commerce's affirmation of dumping of consumer tires by companies in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam was the culmination of 12 months of investigation since the USW petitioned the U.S. government for relief in May 2020.
At stake are thousands of jobs — either at U.S. tire factories or potentially at dozens of companies that import and sell tires from the four Asian nations — and over 85 million tires valued at nearly $4 billion. Collectively, the imports under investigation represent roughly a third of the U.S. aftermarket for passenger and light truck tires.
Commerce has determined that antidumping duties of between 13.25% and 98.44% were in order on various companies in the targeted export zones. In that ruling, Commerce altered the antidumping rates on a number of companies, lowering some and raising others.
The final rates put out by the agency are:
- In South Korea — Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd., 27.05% (down from 38.07%); Nexen Tire Corp., 14.72% (up from 14.24%); the "all others" rate dropped to 21.74% from 27.81%.
- In Taiwan — Cheng Shin Rubber Industry Co. Ltd./Maxxis International, 20.04% (down from 33.33%, which already was a revision from the original preliminary rate of 52.42%); Nankang Rubber Industry Co. Ltd., 101.84% (up from 98.44%); the "all others" rate slipped slightly to 84.75% from 88.82%
- In Thailand — Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) Co. Ltd., 14.62% (up from 13.25%); LLIT (Thailand) Co. Ltd. (Linglong), 21.09% (down from 22.21%); the "all others" rate was raised slightly to 17.08% from 16.66%.
- In Vietnam, the rate for other named companies — Sailun Vietnam Co. Ltd.; Kenda Rubber (Vietnam) Co. Ltd.; Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing Vietnam L.L.C.; Kumho Tire (Vietnam) Co. Ltd.; and Yokohama Tyre Vietnam Co. Ltd. — remains at 0%. The Vietnam-wide rate for other companies stayed at 22.30%.
In addition, Sailun Vietnam and Kumho Tire Vietnam were assessed countervailing duties of 6.23% and 7.89%, respectively. All other companies were assessed a countervailing duty of 6.46%
Importers/distributors of the targeted P/LT tires have been paying duties on tires they import since January, after Commerce ruled preliminarily in favor of continuing the investigation.
Partly as a result of that, imports from Thailand and Taiwan fell measurably in the first quarter compared with the first three months of 2020, according to the latest Commerce Department data.
If the ITC votes in the affirmative on all four cases, Commerce then will impose all of the dumping and countervailing orders; however if the ITC commissioners were to vote in the negative on all four, then the case would end and cash deposits held by Commerce would be forfeited back to the respondent countries.
Additionally, the ITC conceptually could vote affirmative on some of the countries and negative on others.