WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Commerce Department has determined that elevated import duties imposed in 2015 on certain consumer tires imported from China should remain in place, according to the department's expedited "sunset" review of the duties.
The U.S. government is obligated to conduct "sunset" reviews of import duties every five years because of language in the Uruguay Round Agreements Implementation Act, approved in late 1994 and to which the U.S. is a signatory.
The review process sought to determine whether revoking the antidumping (AD) and countervailing (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."
In its final summary on the matter, Commerce said it determined that revoking the AD order on these type tires would "likely to lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping at the weighted-average dumping margins up to 87.99%."
Since the imposition in August 2015 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.
The International Trade Commission, a part of the Commerce Department, 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 United Steelworkers union (USW) — whose petition in 2014 led to the issuance of the AD order in 2015 — argued in its submission on the sunset review issue 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."
Commerce conducted an "expedited" review of the matter not receiving an "adequate substantive" response to its July 1 notice that it was accepting comments on the sunset review process.
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.