USDOC Determination Disappointing for OTR Tires from India

CONTACTS:  Gary Hubbard, (202) 256-8125

Pittsburgh (Aug. 15) – Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) today confirmed the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC)  announced a negative preliminary determination for anti-dumping (AD) duties on new pneumatic off-the-road tires (OTR) from India in a petition filed earlier this year by the USW and Titan International, Inc.

“The USW was disappointed in the preliminary results announced Friday 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 tire 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 tires.” 

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 tires was announced in June for India ranging from 4.70 to 7.64 percent; and for Sri Lanka at 2.90 percent.

The USW represents 2,500 workers producing OTR tires 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 tire 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 percent from 2012 to 2014.

Bridgestone’s Bloomington and Des Moines plants make OTR tires 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.

OTR tire products are used on vehicles in the industrial, construction, mining, agricultural and logging industries. A separate trade case against passenger vehicle and light truck tire imports from China was filed by the USW in 2014 and are now covered by duty orders.

The USW and Titan filed petitions Jan. 8 against OTR tire 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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