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ITC finds material injury in OTR import case

The International Trade Commission (ITC) has determined that the U.S. tire industry is "materially injured" by OTR tires from India and Sri Lanka sold in the U.S. at less than fair value.

The 5-0 vote on Feb. 3 means that duties will be levied against OTR tire imports from those countries. Feb. 23 is the day the ITC will notify the U.S. Department of Commerce on the vote, according to an ITC press release.

ITC Chairman Rhonda K. Schmidtlein joined with Vice Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson, Meredith M. Broadbent and F. Scott Kieff to vote in the affirmative. Commissioner Dean A. Pinkert did not participate in the investigation, the ITC said.

The vote ends a 13-month investigation of Indian and Sri Lankan OTR tires that began in January 2016 with petitions to the ITC from Titan Tire Corp. and the United Steelworkers union, requesting relief under Sections 701 and 731 of the Trade Act.

On Jan. 4, the U.S. Department of Commerce found final countervailing duty rates of 5.38 percent against Indian OTR tire manufacturer Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT), 4.9 percent against Indian manufacturer ATC Tires Private Ltd. — part of Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. — and 5.06 percent against all other Indian importers.

Camso Loadstar (Pvt.) Ltd., a Sri Lankan OTR tire producer, received a final countervailing duty rate of 2.18 percent, the same amount levied against all other Sri Lankan producers.

Sri Lankan OTR tire manufacturers were not investigated for antidumping duties, and Commerce found "de minimis" evidence of dumping against Indian producers.

Commerce honored the request of Titan and the USW to revisit the antidumping finding against Indian producers, and on Feb. 2 changed their antidumping duty finding against the Indians to 3.67 percent.

USW International Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson, who testified against the Indian and Sri Lankan producers before the ITC, said he was pleased with the affirmative determination.

"This ruling is very welcomed by all American tire workers," Mr. Johnson said. "Once again we have protected good-paying, family-supporting jobs and preserved market share for American employers under siege from India and Sri Lanka's unfair and illegal trade practices."

Officials of Titan and the Indian producers could not be reached for comment.

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