Michelin Drives Tire Safety Action with AAMVA Best Practices Update

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GREENVILLE, S.C., March 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Michelin and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the global governing body for motorsports, have secured the commitments of 40 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to include standard tire-safety information in driver’s manuals as part of Michelin’s award-winning Beyond the Driving Test program.  The 40-state achievement comes as the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), which represents officials in states, provinces and territories engaged in the administration and enforcement of driver and motor vehicle laws in the United States and Canada, releases its updated Best Practices for its members to include consistent language for proper tire pressure and tread depth. 

 

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One vote altered final ITC antidumping decision

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WASHINGTON — The shift of one vote caused the International Trade Commission (ITC) to make a final determination that the U.S. truck and bus tire manufacturing industry is not being materially injured because of imports from China.

The ITC made a negative determination on material injury against the U.S. truck and bus tire industry Feb. 22 on a 3-2 vote. A year earlier, the commission made an affirmative preliminary determination by a 3-2 vote.

The ITC made its final report available to the public on March 22.

ITC Vice Chairman David S. Johanson voted with Chairman Rhonda K. Schmidtlein and Commissioner Irving A. Williamson in the preliminary determination in favor of a finding of material injury. At that time, however, Mr. Johanson filed his separate views.

In his preliminary views, Mr. Johanson agreed with most of the findings of Ms. Schmidtlein and Mr. Williamson. He found that Chinese imports increased in both absolute terms and relative to U.S. consumption and production during the 2013-2015 period of investigation.

During the period, he said, Chinese imports captured 5.1 percentage points of market share from the domestic industry.

Mr. Johanson also found that imports from other countries, though gaining in U.S. market share, gained less than Chinese imports.

“In 31 of 37 quarterly comparisons between the prices of imports from China and Canada, the prices of imports from Canada were higher than those from China,” he wrote. “The prices of imports from Canada were even higher than U.S.-produced tires in nearly half of the quarterly comparisons.”

Considering data on capital investments in the domestic industry, Mr. Johanson said he found it unlikely that the domestic industry would perform as well in the near term as it did during the period of investigation.

“Nevertheless, given the domestic industry’s performance throughout the period, I do not find that the domestic industry is currently in a vulnerable state,” he said.

In the final determination, Mr. Johanson voted with Commissioners Meredith M. Broadbent and F. Scott Kieff, who repeated their negative findings on material injury.

“The domestic industry was able to increase output, employment and profitability levels during the period of investigation,” said the majority opinion in the final ITC report.

“While the domestic industry lost market share during a time of rising demand, we have found that the decline of market share was due to capacity limitations and very high capacity utilization, rather than to the subject imports,” the document said.

“We further found that the increased volume of low-priced subject imports had no significant price effects and coincided with significant improvement in the domestic industry’s condition,” it said.

In their dissenting views, Ms. Schmidtlein and Mr. Williamson wrote, “We find that a significant volume of subject imports from China has undersold the domestic like product, significantly depressed U.S. prices and caused material injury to the domestic industry.”

Ms. Schmidtlein and Mr. Williamson discounted evidence that the domestic industry’s performance improved during the period of investigation.

“The U.S. industry was profitable, and profits grew over the period, but the overall increase was modest considering the significant increase in demand over the investigation period and the opportunity to benefit from lower costs,” they wrote.

The United Steelworkers union petitioned the ITC for antidumping and countervailing duty relief against Chinese truck and bus tire imports in January 2016. Commissioner Dean A. Pinkert did not participate in the investigation. Shortly after the final vote was taken, Mr. Pinkert announced his return to private law practice.

 

According to the ITC, there are seven truck and bus tire plants in the U.S., employing 6,629.

The apparent dollar value of truck and bus tire consumption in 2015 was $6.1 billion, the ITC said.

Chinese imports accounted for $1.2 billion of that total, with $1.3 billion coming from other countries including Canada, Japan and Thailand.

China continued last year as the No. 1 source of imported truck/bus tires, despite shipments falling 14.4 percent, to 7.63 million units. Overall imports were off as well, by 3.8 percent to 13.9 million units. 

Thailand’s truck/bus tire exports to the U.S. jumped 98.7 percent to 1.82 million units, making that nation the No. 2 source of imported truck tires last year.

Canada, Japan and South Korea were third through fifth on the list, with South Korea’s exports to the U.S. growing 85.1 percent to 421,239 units.

Read the source article at Tire Business

ITC decision leaves USW, retreaders reeling

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WASHINGTON (Feb. 24, 2017) — The United Steelworkers (USW) union and U.S. retreaders are reeling in the wake of the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) decision to not impose import duties on Chinese truck and bus tire imports.

The 3-2 ITC vote on Feb. 20 that the U.S. truck and bus tire industry has not suffered material injury because of Chinese imports means the U.S. Department of Commerce will not order U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect antidumping and countervailing duties from Chinese truck and bus tire manufacturers and importers.

The USW union, which had petitioned the ITC for duties a year ago, expressed disappointment at the agency’s decision, as did represesentatives of the U.S. retreading industry, which supported elevated duties on Chinese truck/bus tires as a way to keep an important price differential between new Chinese tires and retreaded truck tires.

“Of all the stakeholders in this, retreaders are the ones who are hurt the most,” said Terry Westhafer, president of Verona, Va.-based retreading firm Central Tire Co.

Considering the fact that the Commerce Department had issued final antidumping and countervailing duties against Chinese tire makers in late January, Mr. Westhafer said it is hard to understand how the ITC failed to find material injury in this investigation.

Read the source article at Tire Business

Goodyear Announces Pricing of $700 Million of Senior Notes

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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ: GT) today announced that it has priced its offering of $700 million aggregate principal amount of 10-year senior notes. The notes will be senior unsecured obligations of the company.

The notes will be offered to the public at a price of 100% of their principal amount and will bear interest at a rate of 4.875% per annum. Goodyear expects the offering to close on March 7, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

Goodyear intends to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with cash and cash equivalents, to redeem in full its $700 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.0% senior notes due 2022.

Read the source article at cnbc.com

Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric from China Injures U.S. Industry, Says USITC

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of certain amorphous silica fabric from China that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Vice Chairman David S. Johanson, and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson, Meredith M. Broadbent, and F. Scott Kieff voted in the affirmative.  Commissioner Dean A. Pinkert did not vote in these investigations.

As a result of the USITC’s affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of this product from China.

Read the source article at USITC

February 27, 2017 Weekly Legislative Update

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At the OTR Conference, during our discussion on tax reform, we went into the “border adjustability” provisions set forth in the House Blueprint Tax Reform package.  As you probably know, these provisions are quite controversial.  Under this proposal, exports would not be subject to corporate tax while imports would be subject to tax.  It is intended to promote US manufacturing.

This provision has pitted companies that primarily export (for instance, Boeing and Caterpillar), which are obviously in favor of it, against companies that import (for instance, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, most retailers, your local gas station), that believe not only would the provision be detrimental to them but also to the consumer.  Companies that oppose the proposal are stressing that costs of producing their goods will go up by 20% and that they would have to pass the cost on to the consumer. 

Read the source article at TIRE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

Justin Trudeau meets with auto industry as concerns mount over NAFTA

With a possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement looming, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down to reassure representatives from the auto industry on Monday. 

Trudeau and foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland visited the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association’s Toronto office for a closed-door meeting with business leaders. Earlier this month, the Prime Minister met with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has promised to renegotiate NAFTA on terms more favourable to the U.S.

 

Read the source article at Financial Post

Rolling resistance vital to fuel economy

It is a known fact that tyres play a significant role in the vehicle’s performance. There has been tremendous pressure on automotive OEMs to improve the performance of the vehicles. For the last few years, performance of tyres has played a significant role because of the change in requirements of automotive OEMS and end users. Tyre ratings & labeling programs are steps towards improvement of tyre efficiency. This gives option to the customers to select the brand of their choice.

Read the source article at Rubber Asia

Canada well-positioned to revamp NAFTA

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TORONTO — Ontario Minister of Economic Development Brad Duguid said Canada is “fortunate” to begin a NAFTA dialogue with the Trump administration “from a position of absolute strength.” Over the first three quarters of 2016, Ontario’s real GDP growth has outpaced that of Canada’s and all other G7 countries. The province’s unemployment rate is also at its lowest in eight years, Duguid said.

Read the source article at Front Page

The Politics of Being a Tire Dealer

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As a business leader and manager, you’re tasked with many of the same duties as professional politicians – building consensus, communicating a shared vision, dealing with the public and staying visible within your community.

And as a tire dealer, you have far more political expertise and influence than you may realize. Your voice, experience and wisdom are highly valuable to your community and your industry. From serving on boards and councils locally to speaking on industry issues before the House and Senate – even running for office – tire dealers have a reputation for getting involved.

Read the source article at Tire Review