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International Trade Commission: Duties will be placed on Chinese OTR tire imports

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The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 5-1 to place anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on off-the-road tire imports from China -- a first for Chinese tire exports coming into the U.S.

 

The commission's affirmative vote follows a Department of Commerce (DOC) ruling that Chinese exporters of off-the-road tires had received government subsidies and sold at below the cost of production in the U.S. (see "Feds say Chinese companies are dumping OTR tires," July 9, 2008).

 

"I applaud the ITC in the determination of this very important off-the-road tire case," said Rep. Phil Hare (D.-Ill.) during a conference call held earlier this afternoon. He said the "egregious practices" led to a loss of domestic jobs and sales.

 

Hopefully fair trade in the OTR tire industry will be restored, he added.

 

Titan Tire Corp. and the United Steelworkers (USW) filed petitions against China imports of "off-the-road" tires on June 18, 2007.

 

The OTR tire dumping affected everybody, said Morry Taylor, Titan's chairman and CEO. "It's a good day for the working men and women, it's a good day for businesses in this country."

 

Steven Vanderheyden, president of USW Local 745 in Freeport, Ill., said 100 laid-off workers are "waiting to be called back to their craft" following the decision. Freeport is the home of one of Titan's three domestic OTR tire plants.

 

The USW represents four of the seven producers of large and small OTR, farm and off-the-road construction tires in the U.S. -- eight plants in all.

 

In an official statement, GPX International Tire Corp. said it was "deeply disappointed" in the decision.

 

"We have not yet seen the ITC effort to explain its decision. We will be carefully reviewing that explanation and exploring our options for seeking judicial review of this deeply flawed decision."

 

According to GPX, the OTR tire companies in the U.S. have not "truly" suffered as a result of the increase in imports from China. "GPX has never received subsidies from the government of China... and we have never 'dumped' products on the U.S. market."

 

GPX says it is exploring an appeal of the DOC's decision. "We are confident that a federal court considering the facts will find that the DOC's decision was baseless and without merit."

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