The U.S. Department of Commerce has altered some tariff rates, but largely maintained its preliminary position that passenger and light truck tires imported from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are being dumped in the U.S. at below-market prices. And because of that, the government says they should be subject to tariffs.
The DOC says the penalties and dumping rates range from 14.62% to as high as 101.84%. Tire manufacturers and importers from Taiwan will pay the highest rates.
The government also upheld its preliminary findings that tiremakers in Vietnam also benefited from government subsidies there. As a result, those tires will be subject to countervailing duties to offset those subsidies, as well as the anti-dumping rates below.
Here’s a look at the final anti-dumping rates, as published by the DOC on May 24. The government investigated rates in each region separately, so there are different rates in each region. In each country certain tiremakers served as primary respondents in the investigation, and as a result they may have earned their own separate rate. If not listed, tiremakers fall into the “all others” rate category.
Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. 27.05%
Nexen Tire Corp. 14.72%
All others 21.74%
Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd. 20.04%
Nankang Rubber Tire Corp. Ltd. 101.84%
All others 84.75%
Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) Co. Ltd. 14.62%
LLIT (Thailand) Co. Ltd 21.09%
All others 17.08%
Kenda Rubber (Vietnam) Co. Ltd. 0%
Sailun Group (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd./Sailun Tire Americas Inc. 0%
Bridgestone Corp. 0%
Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing Vietnam LLC 0%
Kumho Tire (Vietnam) Co. Ltd. 0%
Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. 0%
All others 22.30%
Vietnam countervailing rates:
Kumho Tire (Vietnam) Co. Ltd. 7.89%
Sailun (Vietnam) Co. Ltd. 6.23%
All others 6.46%
Tires coming from Vietnam would be subject to both anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
Impact on the industry
Those four regions are among the largest tire importers into the country, and since tariffs were levied against passenger and light truck tires from China, they have been among the fastest growing tire importers to the U.S. Conditions with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 disrupted that somewhat, but Vietnam and Taiwan still both increased consumer tire importers last year over 2019, according to MTD research.
How the rates changed
There were slight alterations and recalculations, but since the preliminary tariff rates were published on Dec. 30, 2020, for the most part the DOC didn't make drastic changes.
In South Korea, Hankook's rate dropped from 38.07% to 27.05% , while Nexen's increased slightly from 14.24% to 14.72%. The "all others" rate dropped from 27.81% to 21.74%.
In Taiwan, Cheng Shin's preliminary rate was 52.42%, and it dropped by more than half to 20.04%. Nankang's rate went the other way, from 98.44% to 101.84%. The "all others" rate slipped slightly to 84.75%, from 88.82%
In Thailand, Sumitomo Rubber's preliminary rate was 13.25% and increased slightly to 14.62%, while LLIT's rate was 22.21% and landed at 21.09%. The "all others" rate in Thailand was 16.66% and edged up slightly to 17.08%.
In Vietnam, the stated companies all remained at 0%, and the Vietnam-wide rate held steady at 22.30%.
The DOC's investigation is one half of the puzzle. The International Trade Commission is also studying the imports of tires from these four regions, and on June 23 commissioners are scheduled to conclude their investigation by voting whether to uphold the case. The DOC will forward these final results to the ITC for consideration.