The U.S. Dept. of Commerce issued countervailing duty orders on imports of off-the-road tires from India and Sri Lanka, and an anti-dumping duty order on such tires from India — an outcome that generally pleased wheel manufacturer Titan International Inc. and the United Steelworkers of America, who had filed the trade violations petition.
“We believe that the level of subsidization may be larger than was found in the original investigation,” commented Titan chairman Maurice Taylor, “and we plan to monitor developments in both countries to evaluate whether the full measure of unfair trade is offset through the issuance of the orders and any subsequent administrative reviews.”
Taylor nevertheless thanked the Commerce Dept. and the International Trade Commission “for their diligence throughout the investigations.”
Titan International, Quincy, IL, has forging, roll forming, stamping, welding, finish machining, and various other capabilities it uses to produce more than 50,000 sizes and types of off-highway wheels. Its products are supplied to OEMs, including John Deere, New Holland, Case, AGCO, Caterpillar, Komatsu, and Kubota, and also are available to the after-market.
The original petition was filed in January 2016. Commerce investigated and confirmed the subsidy charges, and referred the findings to the International Trade Commission. On February 3 of this year, the ITC voted 5-0 that U.S. off-the-road (OTR) tire makers were suffering material injury due to imports from India and Sri Lanka. The CVD penalty for OTR tires from India was set at 4.94% (reduced from 5.06% following an appeal by ATC Tires Private Ltd., an Indian OTR tire maker included in the investigation; ATC’s individual CVD rate is set at 4.72%.)
Imports of Sri Lankan-made OTR tires were fixed with a 2.18% CVD.
Sri Lankan OTR tire producers were not investigated for antidumping duties, and Commerce found the Indian tires had been sold only barely below fair-market value.
And, while the Indian and Sri Lankan tires will bear the CVD penalties, the issue may be somewhat disappointing to the petitioners as the ITC levied found no violations in a similar charge brought against Chinese-produced truck and bus tires imported to the U.S.
"Titan has been fighting for years to safeguard the rights of U.S. producers of certain OTR tires and their workers to conditions of fair trade,” according to Taylor. “These recently issued orders on imports from India and Sri Lanka are another important step in that process. If the President adds additional tariffs on OTR tires, as he has said, this will further assist in the fight for fair trade."