One Tiremaker Wins in Initial Thailand TBR Tariff

May 15, 2024

One tiremaker in Thailand apparently has proven to the U.S. Department of Commerce that it hasn’t dumped truck tires into the U.S. market, and thus isn’t facing a tariff on its TBR tires.

In a preliminary ruling published on May 15, the DOC said it will leverage a 2.35% tariff on truck tires from Bridgestone Corp. made in Thailand. But the other company who served as a mandatory respondent and provided in-depth data for its products — Prinx Chengshan Tire (Thailand) Co. Ltd., was assessed a rate of 0%.

All other truck tire importers from Thailand will be accessed the same 2.35% tariff as Bridgestone.

The low-single-digit rate reflects a stark difference from what the United Steelworkers union alleged in its initial petition. The union alleged tiremakers in Thailand were dumping large numbers of tires into the U.S. market — at a margin of 47.81%. (The union arrived at that number by comparing what it called the "ex-factory price based on constructed value" of $229.09, and comparing it to the "ex-factory price based on import AUV" U.S. price of $152.96.)

No retroactive decision

In addition to wondering what the tariff rates might be, the tire industry has been curious if tariffs might be applied retroactively — meaning they’d be assessed on products that were shipped into U.S. ports even before the October 2023 date that the USW filed its petition.

But the DOC says there’s no evidence that “critical circumstances” exist in this case. And that means that even the 2.35% tariff won’t be imposed on products retroactively.

What happens next

This decision is just a preliminary one. There’s another round of research and data and comments that will involved all of the interested parties. A final decision typically is due 75 days after the preliminary rule is published in the Federal Register.

And as is often the case, the parties are already anticipating the final stage. Both Prinx and Bridgestone had already filed requests to delay that final decision day. For the period of investigation — October 2022 through September 2023 — Prinx has said it was the second largest exporter of truck tires from Thailand. (Bridgestone has said it was one of the two largest exporters.)

Prinx noted the case “involves complex and novel issues, which require ample time to investigate completely.”

And in its preliminary decision on May 15, the DOC agreed to extend the timeline for the final ruling. So that will now come 135 days after this preliminary decision is published.

About the Author

Joy Kopcha | Managing Editor

After more than a dozen years working as a newspaper reporter in Kansas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, Joy Kopcha joined Modern Tire Dealer as senior editor in 2014. She has covered murder trials, a prison riot and more city council, county commission, and school board meetings than she cares to remember.