January 29, 2016

New Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions on Truck and Bus Tires from China

By Douglas J. Heffner and Richard P. Ferrin

On January 29, 2016, the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) regarding truck and bus tires from the People’s Republic of China.

The U.S. AD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States at less than “normal value.” The U.S. CVD law imposes a different set of special tariffs to counteract imports that benefit from unfair foreign government subsidies. For both AD and CVD duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping and/or subsidization is occurring, but also that there is “material injury” (or threat thereof) by reason of the dumped and/or subsidized imports.  Importers are liable for any potential AD/CVD duties imposed. In addition, these investigations could impact purchasers, by either increasing prices, and/or decreasing supply, of truck and bus tires.

The petitioner proposes the following scope of investigation:

The scope of these investigations is truck and bus tires.

Truck and bus tires are new pneumatic tires, of rubber, with a truck or bus size designation. Truck and bus tires covered by these investigations may be tube-type, tubeless, radial, or non-radial, and they may be intended for sale to original equipment manufacturers, fleet owners and operators, or the replacement market.

Subject tires have, at the time of importation, the symbol “DOT” on the sidewall, certifying that the tire conforms to applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Subject tires may also have one of the following suffixes in their tire size designation, which also appear on the sidewall of the tire:

  • TR – Identifies tires for service on trucks or buses to differentiate them from similarly sized passenger car and light truck tires;
  • MH – Identifies tires for mobile homes; and
  • HC – Identifies a 17.5 rim diameter code for use on low platform trailers.

All tires with a “TR,” “MH,” or “HC” suffix in their size designations are covered by these investigations regardless of their intended use.

In addition, all tires that lack one of the above suffix markings are included in the scope, regardless of their intended use, as long as the tire is of a size that is among the numerical size designations listed in the “Truck-Bus” section of the Tire and Rim I-10 Association Year Book, as updated annually, unless the tire falls within one of the specific exclusions set out below.

Truck and bus tires, whether or not mounted on wheels or rims, are included in the scope. However, if a subject tire is imported mounted on a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered by the scope. Subject merchandise includes truck and bus tires produced in the subject country whether mounted on wheels or rims in the subject country or in a third country. Truck and bus tires are covered whether or not they are accompanied by other parts, e.g., a wheel, rim, axle parts, bolts, nuts, etc. Truck and bus tires that enter attached to a vehicle are not covered by the scope.

Specifically excluded from the scope of these investigations are the following types of tires: (1) pneumatic tires, of rubber, that are not new, including recycled and retreaded tires; and (2) non-pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires.

The products covered by the petitions are currently classified under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.20.10.15 and 4011.20.50.20. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.45.10, 4011.99.45.50, 4011.99.85.10, 4011.99.85.50, 8708.70.45.30, 8708.70.60.30, and 8708.70.60.60. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive. To the extent that tires that meet the scope description are imported under these or other HTS categories not listed above, they are intended to be covered.

Alleged Dumping Margin:

The petitions allege various dumping margins, ranging up to a maximum of 58.2 percent.

Alleged Subsidy Programs:

The CVD petition alleges that Chinese producers/exporters benefit from numerous countervailable subsidies provided by the Government of China.  Please let us know if you would like further details regarding specific subsidy allegations.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations:

  • January 29, 2016 – Petitions are filed
  • February 20, 2016 – DOC initiates investigation
  • February 21, 2016 – ITC staff conference (estimated)
  • March 14, 2016 – Deadline for ITC preliminary injury determination
  • April 25, 2016 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if deadline is NOT postponed
  • June 20, 2016 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if deadline is fully postponed
  • July 11, 2016 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determinations, if deadlines are NOT postponed
  • August 29, 2016 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determinations, if deadlines are fully postponed
  • January 11, 2017 – Deadline for DOC final AD and CVD determinations, if both preliminary and final determinations are fully postponed
  • February 27, 2017 – Deadline for ITC final injury determination, assuming fully postponed DOC deadlines

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