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When will importers have to pay the tariff(s)?

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New tariffs have been levied on consumer tire imports from China. When will importers in the United States have to pay the price?

The answer is April 6, 2015, unless there is a postponement in the final decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) on its countervailing duties investigation.

Because the tariffs are retroactive, which passenger and light truck tires imported from China earlier this year will be affected?

The answer is any imported 90 days prior to the appearance of the DOC's preliminary determination in the Federal Register.

As of Nov. 25, 2014, there has been no mention of the determination in the Federal Register; if it appears in the Nov. 26 edition, then any Chinese consumer tires crossing our borders on or after Aug. 27, 2014, will be subject to taxation.

"The tariffs are going to hurt the people who need the Chinese tire the most," says Alpio Barbara, president of Redwood General Tire Pros in Redwood City, Calif. "The light down the end of the tunnel we were seeing as far as our business getting better is a freight train with higher prices."

The DOC imposed the following tariffs in addition to the existing 4% tariffs on consumer tires imported from China:

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.: 12.5%.

GITI Tire (Fujian) Co. Ltd. (and certain cross-owned companies): 17.69%.

Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co. Ltd.: 81.19%.

All other Chinese exporters: 15.69%.

Why was Yongsheng hit with a rate more than five times the general tariff? The DOC said it relied, in part, "on facts available and, because one or more respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to the department’s requests for information, we drew an adverse inference where appropriate."

As if the countervailing duties, which were handed out because the DOC determined the Chinese government was illegally subsidizing tires exported to the U.S., weren't enough, there may be a further increase. The DOC has until Jan. 20, 2015, to determine if an antidumping duty also is in order. That preliminary decision also will be finalized April 6, 2015.

For more information, check out these links:

"15.6% to 17.6% tariffs are effective immediately -- and retroactive."

"DOC postpones Chinese imports decision."

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