The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers has been closely monitoring and providing comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce as it continues to investigate and determine whether tariffs should be applied to certain tires imported from China. As discussed in presentations at the NATM Convention, the case is one which could have significant financial and logistical impacts on light and medium duty trailer manufacturers. Throughout the process, NATM has maintained that specialty trailer tires should not be subject to the tariffs.
On June 18, the U.S. Department of Commerce published its final determinations in connection with the pending investigations into imports of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China. As detailed in the factsheet found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/download/factsheets/factsheet-prc-pvltv-ad-cvd-final-061215.pdf, the Commerce Department assigned final antidumping and countervailing duty margins to Chinese producers and exporters of affected products. And in a limited number of instances, the Department made final affirmative “critical circumstances” determinations. This means that importers of subject merchandise from the affected Chinese producers/exporters will continue to be subject to duty deposit requirements in connection with entries made prior to the publication of the Department’s preliminary determinations.
Importantly for NATM members, the Commerce Department maintained the scope exclusion for specialty trailer tires for which NATM has been advocating. However, the Department reinstituted the requirements that the load index and speed ratings be molded to the sidewall to qualify for the exclusion. The Department also implemented an additional exclusion for certain N-rated specialty trailer tires.
The U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to make its final determinations in the case on July 27. If the initial ruling is confirmed, the Department is expected to issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders on or about August 3.
The Commission is required separately to assess whether there has been any injury to the petitioning U.S. industry by reason of imports made during the “critical circumstances” periods and, at least historically, generally has made negative injury determinations, which would mean that any duties deposited by importers during the 90-day period prior to the publication of the Department’s preliminary determinations would be refunded.