Since the preliminary tariff investigation, the DOC more than doubled the subsidy rates for truck tires made in China. Double Coin has the lowest rate, but it still doubled, from 17.06% to 38.61%.

Since the preliminary tariff investigation, the DOC more than doubled the subsidy rates for truck tires made in China. Double Coin has the lowest rate, but it still doubled, from 17.06% to 38.61%.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has more than doubled some of the tariff rates it says are necessary to offset the subsidies and dumping of Chinese-made truck and bus tires imported into the U.S.

The DOC conducts its tariff investigations in two stages. Evidence during the preliminary stage resulted in preliminary subsidy rates ranging from 17.06% to 23.38%; but in the final investigation those rates jumped to 38.61% to 65.46%.

And that’s just half of the equation.

The preliminary anti-dumping tariff, after a re-calculation, was set at 30.36% for all tire manufacturers. In the final stage that rate has actually decreased, and is either 9% or 22.57%, depending on the manufacturer.

The details

Here’s how it breaks down:

The final subsidy rates:

Tire company Countervailing tariff
Double Coin Holdings Ltd.  38.61%
Guizhou Tyre Co. Ltd.  65.46%
All Others  52.04%

The final dumping margins:

Tire company Anti-dumping tariff
Prinx Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co. Ltd.  9%
Non-selected separate rate respondents*  9%
China-wide rate  22.57%

*Non-selected separate rate respondents — Following the preliminary decision, we listed the companies the DOC lumped in this category here.

What happens next

The DOC is one half of the tariff-decision making team. The International Trade Commission (ITC) conducts its own investigation of every tariff petition — this one was filed by the United Steelworkers — and the ITC is scheduled to make its final determinations March 6, 2017.

If the ITC agrees with the DOC that the domestic truck and bus tire market is being injured by like products made in China, the DOC will formally instruct the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect tariffs on the imported products. If the ITC doesn’t see it the same way and says the U.S. production market isn’t being harmed by those imports, the investigations are terminated and no tariffs are collected.

Another wrinkle

Typically, the DOC sets these tariff rates, publishes the rates in the Federal Register, and once published, the customs office begins collecting the tariffs. But as sometimes happens with these cases, by the time the final rates are set, the clock has expired on the provisional preliminary decision. That’s what happened with the anti-dumping rates in this case. As a result, for the time being, no dumping tariff will be collected until the ITC makes its final determination in March, and that determination says truck and bus tires from China are being dumped in the U.S.

The higher subsidy rates will be collected like usual, however — as soon as they’re published in the Federal Register.

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