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

Kramer: Goodyear on Front Edge of Connectivity Wave

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The past couple of days, you’ve heard a lot about one of my favorite topics, the value of the Goodyear brand. You heard a lot about our terrific products, our services and tools that help you build your businesses. You heard Scott talk a lot about the marketing partnerships that we have, particularly around NASCAR and college football. In fact, some of you told me last night how you loved and felt so proud seeing those Goodyear commercials during the football season.

Read the source article at Tire Review

Yokohama completes acquisition of Japanese industrial tires producer

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Tokyo –Yokohama Rubber Co. (YRC) has completed the previously announced acquisition of Aichi Tire Industry Co.

Headquartered in Komaki, Aichi, Aichi Tire manufactures tires for industrial machinery, including forklifts, and Yokohama expects the acquisition to strengthen its position in that product sector.

Aichi Tire’s products include solid tires and press-on tires. The company supplies the tires to mainly Japanese-based industrial machinery manufacturers.

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

Tire Technology Expo 2017 Show review

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Tire Technology Expo – the premier showcase for the global tire design, development and manufacturing industry – continues its spectacular growth of recent years. The 2017 event, held for the second time at the Deutsche Messe in Hannover in February, was the 17th since the show’s foundation and the biggest yet, with 280 exhibiting companies, more than 600 conference and course attendees, and a three-day visitor and delegate total that nudged the 5,000 level for the second year running.

“Remarkably, within 15 minutes of opening the doors on the first morning, it was obvious that Tire Technology Expo 2017 was going to be even better than our best-ever show in 2016,” said Tony Robinson, CEO of UKIP Media & Events and founder of Tire Technology Expo. “I’ve been delighted with the number of visitors from all over the world. The exhibitors were happy, but equally importantly, the visitors were very happy because the show was full of the latest technologies and materials that people are looking for.”

Visitor Jukka Koskinen, development manager at Nokian Heavy Tyres, said, “Every year I make time in my calendar to attend the show. I visited many companies that I was interested in and I made strong contacts – all the manufacturers were there and it’s easy to find out answers to any questions that we may have.”

Read the source article at Tire Technology Expo 2017

ExxonMobil Expands Tire Testing Capabilities

The state-of-art test facility exceeds American Society for Testing and Materials requirements for Inflation Pressure Loss Rate testing.

ExxonMobil has expanded the tire testing capabilities of its Shanghai Technology Center. The company added a new state-of-the-art Inflation Pressure Loss Rate (IPLR) test room that evaluates a tire’s air pressure loss rate over time.

Read the source article at Autosphere.ca

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

Peled: M&As a big deal for tire industry

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Hanover, Germany – Merger & acquisition (M&A) activity has had a significant impact on the development of the tire manufacturing industry, particularly as the deals involved have accelerated the flow of information and technology in the sector, according to executive chairman of Pelmar Engineering Jacob Peled.

“The influence of M&A activity is very strong on the industry, much stronger than people understand,” Peled set out in a presentation at the TTE conference in Hanover on 15 Feb.

Read the source article at European Rubber Journal

China’s tire exports increased 5.4 percent and are valued at CNY 468.48 million in 2016

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Dublin, Ireland – In 2016, China’s tire export reached CNY 468.48 million, increasing by 5.4 percent year-on-year. Export value was $12.89 billion, decreasing by 6.9 percent year-on-year. Average unit export price was $27.52, decreasing by 11.65 percent year-on-year. Affected by the decreasing price of natural rubber in the international market in recent years, the manufacturing cost of tires has been declining, so the average unit export price of tires has been declining as well, according to Research and Markets.

In 2016, tires from China were exported to more than 200 countries and regions with the U.S.A. being the largest market. The value of tires exported from China to the U.S.A. was $2,102 million, accounting for 16.3 percent of China’s total export value of tires in the same term. The U.K. was the second largest market. In 2016, the value of tires exported from China to the U.K. was $541 million, accounting for 4.2 percent of China’s total export value of tires in the same term. Mexico, Australia, the UAE and Germany were also important export destinations for tires from China. Tires exported to the U.S.A. were mainly radial tires for passenger vehicles between 15 and 16 inches. China’s export price of tires of that size is 80 percent of the average export price, still lower than the prices of other countries. Tires imported from China ranked the first in terms of all sizes of imported tires for passenger vehicles in the U.S.A.

Read the source article at Global Rubber Markets News

Bridgestone & Atg experts warn on future of OTR market

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The off-the-road tire market is finally seeing an uptick but it will have to adapt to meet the future demands of industry.

That’s according to two of the tire industry’s most experienced voices. Bridgestone OTR tire divisions president Taylor Cole and Alliance Tire Group vice president of marketing Bruce Besancon outlined their analysis and expectations at the Tire Industry Association’s OTR Conference last week.

Cole told those in attendance the industry was seeing upticks in the construction, mining and aggregates sectors — which he attributed to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 — which put $305 billion into the federal transportation budget for 2016 through 2020.

 

Read the source article at Traction News