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DOC lowers anti-dumping tariffs

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For the second time, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is admitting to significant ministerial errors in calculating the tariffs on imports of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China. The error is resulting in a lower anti-dumping tariff for nearly every tire manufacturer.

The DOC’s International Trade Administration indicates in a March 19 document it is amending its preliminary determination of its anti-dumping duty investigation following concerns presented by the Sailun Group Co. Ltd.

In a Feb. 2, 2015, brief filed by Sailun’s attorneys, the tire manufacturer says the DOC “inadvertently double counted the valuation of certain factors of production.” The specifics are redacted from the public version of the document, however Sailun asserts four fields were double counted.

“The double counting of these inputs has a significant impact on Sailun’s calculated preliminary dumping margin of 36.26%. By removing these four double-counted inputs, Sailun’s weighted average dumping margin is reduced to 18.43%,” the company asserts.

The DOC ultimately reduced Sailun’s anti-dumping duty by almost half – from 36.26% to 18.58%.

That reduction led to the lowering of anti-dumping duties for 65 other companies, from 27.72% to 18.99%.

The only company that didn’t benefit from the adjustment is Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd., though Giti did allege a significant ministerial error. The DOC says it is not amending Giti’s 19.17% “because Giti’s ministerial errors are not significant.”

The DOC's definition of a significant ministerial error is that the correction results in a change of at least 5 absolute percentage points, but not less than 25% of the originally calculated figure.

The rate for Sailun will be effective retroactively to Jan. 27, 2015, the date the original higher rate was published in the Federal Register. The rate for the other affected companies will be effective retroactively to Oct. 29, 2014, which is 90 days before the date of publication.

Read about the original assignment of anti-dumping duties here: Anti-dumping tariffs have been assigned!

And find stories about the implementation of countervailing duties on Chinese tires here: DOC admits mistake, implements lower tariffs.

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