For the second straight year, Mary Xu, deputy chairman of the China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA), is walking the floor of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, campaigning for Chinese tires in the U.S.A.
A year ago her trip followed a decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission to implement tariffs on consumer tires imported from China. In 2016, her SEMA Show visit collides with the ongoing investigations of tariffs on truck and bus tires from China.
The CRIA is much like the Rubber Manufacturers Association in the U.S. it represents more than 1,400 members who fan out across the broad rubber industry, covering everyone from the providers of raw materials to the makers of rubber belts and other products. About 300 of those members are tire manufacturers, Xu says.
Those tire manufacturers will be hurt by tariffs, but Xu points out no matter what happens, the U.S. will still rely on tire shipments from China. The U.S. doesn’t have enough truck tire production to be self-reliant.
If tariffs are implemented – and preliminarily the DOC has levied duties of around 50% -- the pain will really be inflicted on the end user, Xu says.
“It’s not good for the U.S. market,” she says.