US agency votes to proceed with 'expedited' review of China import duties

07 October 2020 | Source from European Rubber Journal

Washington — The International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to authorise the Department of Commerce to proceed with an "expedited" review of antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) imposed in 2015 on consumer tires from China.

This review — often called a "sunset" review — is to "determine whether revocation of the (AD) and (CVD) duty orders on certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury."

The ITC, a part of the Commerce Department, opened the regulatory review process 1 July of AD and CVD orders imposed in August 2015 on imports of certain passenger and light truck tires from China, as proscribed in the original orders.

The vote was 5 to 1, with former ITC Commissioner David Johanson voting for a full review.

Commerce has not released a timetable for its review. Traditionally, expedited reviews are completed within 60 to 90 days, sources said, and involve only an examination of the evidence at hand. No new questionnaires or surveys are distributed.

Since the imposition in 2015 of these duties, imports of passenger tires from China have fallen nearly 95% to 2.8 million units last year from 50.4 million units in 2014, according to US Commerce Department data. Through the first six months of 2020, they fell even further, dropping 42.2% to 905,444.

Five-year "sunset" reviews of import duties are required because of language in the Uruguay Round Agreements Implementation Act, approved in late 1994 and to which the US is a signatory.

The timeline for disclosing its decision on this matter is an "expedited process" after Commerce did not receive an "adequate substantive" response to its 1 July notice that it was accepting comments on the sunset review process, which takes place automatically on the fifth anniversary of AD and/or CVD orders taking effect.

Interested parties had until 31 July to submit comments on the matter.

The antidumping duties imposed in August 2015 ranged from 14.4% to 87.9% and countervailing duties ranged from 20.7% to 100.8%, depending on manufacturer. The "China-wide" rates were 30.9% and 87.8%, respectively.

The United Steelworkers union (USW) — whose petition in 2014 led to the issuance of the AD order in 2015 — argued in its submission on the sunset review issue that "revocation of the AD order under review would lead to the continuation or recurrence of sales at less-than-fair values (LTFV) at margins equivalent to or greater than those found in the original investigation."

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