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USDOC declares negative preliminary determination for OTR tyres from India

USDOC declares negative preliminary determination for OTR tyres from India

The U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) announced a negative preliminary determination for anti-dumping (AD) duties on new pneumatic off-the-road tyres (OTR) from India in a petition filed earlier this year by the USW and Titan International, confirmed Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW).

“The USW was disappointed in the preliminary results announced by the USDOC. Petitioners have raised a number of important issues in advance of the preliminary comments,” Gerard said.  “Until disclosure materials are provided to USW trade counsel, we won’t know if those issues were addressed in the preliminary or not.”

The USW president explained that typically there are important factual and legal issues at this stage of the case.  “Our members have suffered harm from OTR imports. The USW will be looking to the Commerce Department to address all issues raised by petitioners in their final to ensure that any dumping is in fact addressed and offset.”

Stan Johnson, USW International Secretary-Treasurer who testified in the trade case hearings as union chair of the tyre sector, said: “The USW with Titan have been persistent and diligent during the last decade to address unfair trade practices that are harming the industry and its workers producing off-the-road tyres.”  He pointed out the USDOC early this summer issued affirmative countervailing duty determinations on imports from both India and Sri Lanka. Johnson said in 2007-2008, the USW and Titan worked together to address dumped and subsidized imports from China that were causing material injury to the domestic industry and its workers.

Johnson declared: “Conditions of fair trade are critical to many industrial sectors in America. The USW will continue to fight to see that our government addresses all instances of injurious dumping and subsidization that harm our members.” The separate preliminary countervailing duty (CVD) order for OTR tyres was announced in June for India ranging from 4.70 to 7.64 %; and for Sri Lanka at 2.90 %.

The USW represents 2,500 workers producing OTR tyres covered by the trade case investigation of Titan plants at Freeport, Ill., Des Moines, Iowa, and Bryan, Ohio; plus Bridgestone-Firestone Corp. of North America (BFNA) at facilities in Bloomington, Ill., and Des Moines. Together, USW members represent more than 58 percent of the domestic capacity in OTR heavy tyre production. In testimony at the USITC, the USW said the work force engaged in producing OTR tires at Titan’s three facilities shrank by more than 40 % from 2012 to 2014.

Bridgestone’s Bloomington and Des Moines plants make OTR tyre for aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers. “The daily production ticket at both plants has dropped dramatically. The reason for these declines in production, hours, employment and investment is the rising volume of low-priced imports,” said the USW.

The USW and Titan filed petitions Jan. 8 against OTR tyre imports from China, India and Sri Lanka. In February, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) found a reasonable indication the domestic industry is being injured by dumped and subsidized imports from India and Sri Lanka, but found imports of mounted tires from China to be negligible in volume.  According to the U.S. government’s import statistics for 2014, new pneumatic off-the-road tires from India were valued at an estimated $167.3 million.

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