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Updated: All Tariffs on Chinese PLT Tires Will Remain

Without Tariffs, DOC Predicts Market Would Return to Previous Conditions

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Tariffs Georgia Ports Containers

The Port of Savannah in Georgia (pictured) has been a busy place in 2020,  but the DOC's recent ruling likely means there won't be a huge bump in containers full of PLT tires from China.

Five years after tariffs were imposed on passenger and light truck tires imported from China, the Department of Commerce (DOC) has determined removing those tariffs would likely result in tires being dumped in the U.S. market and subsidized by the Chinese government once again. As a result, both the anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed in 2015 will stand.

In two separate Federal Register notices, the DOC has said it believes if the tariffs were removed, the U.S. tire market would return to pre-2015 conditions. In 2014 America imported 60.5 PLT tires from China. Since the tariffs were imposed, those imports have dropped dramatically — by 94% — to 3.4 million tires in 2019.

First the DOC said the anti-dumping tariffs of up to 87.99% on PLT tires from China would stand.

And then, in a notice to be published Nov. 9, the DOC says the countervailing duties should remain in place as well. Here's a look at the range of those rates:

Giti Tire (Fujian) Co. Ltd. 36.79%

Cooper Kunshan Tire Co. Ltd. 20.73%

Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co. Ltd. 116.73%

All others 30.61%

The decision comes after the DOC conducted an “expedited sunset review” of the original 2015 orders. All tariff rulings are automatically reviewed five years after the original date, and interested parties are given the opportunity to file responses on whether the tariff should remain in place or not. In this case, the original petitioner in the case — the United Steelworkers — was the only party to file a substantive response.

As a result, instead of conducting a full, lengthy review of the case, the DOC conducted the shorter review, which is based on the facts available, as well as the previous documentation and determinations.

The decision boils down to a single sentence. In the anti-dumping case the DOC "determines that revocation of the AD Order on passenger tires from China would be likely to lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping at weighted-average dumping margins up to 87.99%.”

The wording is similar in the countervailing notice: "We determine that revocation of the CVD order on passenger tires from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of countervailable subsidies (at the rates noted above.)"

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