PITTSBURGH — The United Steelworkers union has notified the Department of Commerce it opposes adoption of a proposal from Taiwan's leading tire makers to suspend the pending antidumping investigation into imports of passenger and light truck tires from Taiwan in exchange for pricing oversight provisions.
The USW argues in a Jan. 19 filing with Commerce that the proposed agreement does not present the "extraordinary circumstances" that would justify suspension of the investigation and would result in "far less effective relief" for the domestic industry than the import duties Commerce put forth on Dec. 30.
The USW states in the filing that the antidumping investigation is not "complex" as the Taiwanese tire makers contend and that "suspension of the investigation would not be more beneficial to the domestic industry than continuation of the investigation."
Taiwan tire companies Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd. (Maxxis), Federal Corp., Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. and Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. Ltd. submitted their proposal Jan. 13 to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Collectively they represent up to 85% of the targeted imports from Taiwan, which amounted to between 8 million and 9 million units in 2017-2019, and were valued at roughly $375 million. It's the smallest of the four nations/territories targeted by the USW petition.
The proposal, signed by U.S.-based counsel for all four companies, is in response to Commerce's ruling in late December 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%
The tire makers' proposal asks Commerce to suspend its antidumping investigation initiated on June 29, 2020, and instead establish minimum reference prices on the passenger and light truck tire products covered by the antidumping investigation.
The four companies said they would agree to "not sell subject merchandise in the United States, on and after the effective date of the agreement, at prices that are less than the reference prices established under this investigation."