The latest annual reviews of tariffs on off-the-road tires from China have resulted in changes to how much tire makers and importers will pay on the tires they import into the U.S.

In the anti-dumping investigation for the period September 2014-August 2015, the Department of Commerce (DOC) says the rate for Xuzhou Xugong Tyres Co. Ltd., (also known as Armour Rubber Co. Ltd. or Xuzhou Hanbang Tyre Co. Ltd.) should be 33.08% — that’s nearly half of what the company was assessed after the previous year’s review; then it was 65.33%.

And because Xugong was one of the primary companies the DOC investigated (the agency calls them a ‘mandatory respondent’), the drop in its rate lowers the rate of these nine other companies to the same 33.08%:

Shiyan Desizheng Industry & Trade Co. Ltd.

Qingdao Jinhaoyang International Co. Ltd.

Sailun Jinyu Group Co. Ltd.

Weifang Jintongda Tyre Co. Ltd.

Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd.

Weihai Zhongwei Rubber Co. Ltd.

Qingdao Qihang Tyre Co.

Qingdao Free Trade Zone Full-World International Trading Co. Ltd., and

Trelleborg Wheel Systems (Xingtai) China Co. Ltd.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that the bulk of companies who were assessed the country-wide rate will continue to pay 105.31%.

Subsidy rates go up

As for the countervailing investigation — which covers subsidies from a foreign government that a company receives — the latest review is prompting substantial rate increases.

For Guizhou Tyre Co. Ltd., the rate is increasing from 2.52% to 34.46%. For companies not selected for an individual review the new rate of 40.24% is almost eight-times higher than the previous 5.65%.

The good news for these companies is that their rates could have been even higher. When the DOC published preliminary countervailing rates in October 2016, Guizhou’s rate was to be 38.19%, and the “others” category rate was to be 54.20%. (It’s not uncommon for the DOC to make revisions after companies provide additional data for consideration.)

Why a review?

Companies who are assessed tariffs have the right to request a review of the data once a year. The government publishes a notice in the Federal Register each month of the investigations that had been finalized in that same month in previous years, and companies have a certain amount of time to request an administrative review. Sometimes no one makes a request. In the case of the anti-dumping investigation on OTR tires from China, the 2016 review was the seventh review.

Tariffs on OTR tires from China were imposed beginning in 2008, and they were renewed in 2013. Tariffs are imposed on five-year cycles, and the next mandatory review of these tariffs is in 2018.

Titan responds

After the higher subsidy rates were published in the Federal Register this week, Titan International Inc. released a statement which included messages from Chairman Morry Taylor and CEO and President Paul Reitz.

Taylor says, "We thank the government agencies involved for their diligence in pursuing these reviews.  These results confirm that imports of OTR tires from China continue to be subsidized and dumped and harm U.S. producers of OTR tires in the U.S. marketplace. I believe Titan will see a positive impact in our aftermarket business as a result of these determinations.On behalf of our shareholders and workers, we are pleased that the U.S. government's investigations have confirmed what we are seeing in the U.S. marketplace."

Reitz says, "These results confirm our belief that the levels of government subsidization had significantly increased and that the amount of dumping has continued. The continued monitoring by the DOC of these orders and the imposition of accurate amounts of countervailing and antidumping duties is an important step in restoring conditions of fair trade. We will continue to work with the DOC to insure that any and all subsidization and dumping by Chinese producers is met by appropriate duty levels. We have been fighting and will continue to fight against the unfair trade practices of any U.S. trading partners."