Imported Tires Aren't 'Negligible'
So how does the International Trade Commission (ITC) determine a domestic industry — in our case tires — is being harmed and threatened by imports? With data. Lots and lots of data.
Don't miss MTD's previous reporting:
So just how comprehensive is the ITC’s view? The commission reviews extensive industry data. There was a questionnaire that included responses from 14 firms that accounted for every passenger and light tire produced in the U.S. in 2019.
There are import statistics available, plus questionnaire responses from 53 U.S. importers. They account for 97.9% of U.S. imports from South Korea; 52.6% of imports from Taiwan; 88.5% of imports from Thailand, and 103.7% of imports from Vietnam. (Interestingly, the ITC says the importers accounted for more tires than were actually counted in official U.S. Department of Commerce import statistics.)
Plus, 28 tiremakers from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam answered questionnaires.
Commissioners also considered evidence and comments from these tire dealers, importers and manufacturers:
Dealers and Importers: American Omni Trading LLC; American Tire Distributors Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Hercules Tire & Rubber Co.; Atturo Tire Corp.; Deestone Corp. Ltd.; ITG Voma Corp.; and Les Schwab Warehouse Center Inc.
Manufacturers: Federal Corp. and Federal Tire North America LLC; Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd., Hankook Tire America Corp., and Hankook Tire Manufacturing Tennessee LP; Cheng Shin Rubber USA Inc., dba Maxxis International – USA, Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd. and Maxxis International (Thailand) Co. Ltd; Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. Ltd; Nexen Tire Corp.; Sumitomo Rubber North America Inc., Sumitomo Rubber USA LLC and Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) Ltd.; Vee Tyre and Rubber Co. Ltd.; and Vogue Tyre & Rubber Co. and S.R. Tyres Co. Ltd.
One more thing
These Imports aren’t negligible.
The Tariff Act states that imports that account for less than 3% of all such merchandise imported into the U.S. would be negligible. The tires in this investigation don’t fall into that category.
From May 2019 through April 2020, imports from Korea accounted for 10.3% of total imports; imports from Taiwan accounted for 5.2% of total imports; imports from Thailand accounted for 25.4% of total imports; and imports from Vietnam accounted for 7.1% of all imports.