US trade body investigating Toyo complaint
The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation into the complaint filed by Toyo Tire & Rubber and its US subsidiary and affiliates. The investigation will focus on the tread patterns and sidewall designs used by certain tyres manufactured in China and Thailand, and whether they infringe Toyo patents.
Toyo complained that the abovementioned tyres’ importation into the US and their sale in that market constitutes a violation of section 337 of the United States’ Tariff Act of 1930. The company requested that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
Although it has instituted an investigation, the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s chief administrative law judge will assign the case to one of its administrative law judges, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The administrative law judge will make an initial determination as to whether a violation of section 337 has taken place; that initial determination is subject to review by the USITC.
The USITC says it will make a final determination in the investigation at the “earliest practicable time.” Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the US Trade Representative within that 60-day period.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Hong Kong Tri-Ace Tire Co., Ltd., of China;
Weifang Shunfuchang Rubber & Plastic Co., Ltd., of China;
Doublestar Dong Feng Tyre Co., Ltd., of China;
Shandong Yongtai Chemical Group Co., Ltd., of China;
MHT Luxury Alloys of Rancho Dominguez, CA;
Wheel Warehouse, Inc., of Anaheim, CA;
Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd., of China;
Dunlap & Kyle Company, Inc. d/b/a Gateway Tire and Service of Batesville, MS;
Unicorn Tire Corp of Memphis, TN;
West KY Customs, LLC, of Benton, KY;
Svizz-One Corporation Ltd. of Thailand;
South China Tire and Rubber Co., Ltd., of China;
American Omni Trading Co., LLC, of Houston, TX;
Tire & Wheel Master, Inc., of Stockton, CA;
Simple Tire of Cookeville, TN;
WTD Inc. of Cerritos, CA;
Guangzhou South China Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., of China;
Turbo Wholesale Tires, Inc., of Irwindale, CA;
TireCrawler.com of Downey, CA;
Lexani Tires Worldwide, Inc., of Irwindale, CA;
Vittore Wheel & Tire of Asheboro, NC; and
RTM Wheel & Tire of Asheboro, NC.