Looking forward to level playing field – Titan International testifies in duty hearing

Titan International’s final injury hearing before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) took place on 4 January, and today the company will file a post hearing brief. The off-road tyre specialist says it “remains optimistic” that the ITC will issue a final affirmative determination in these cases.

If the ITC makes an affirmative determination, countervailing duty orders will be issued by the US Department of Commerce (DOC), and importers going forward will have to post cash deposits equal to the countervailing duty margins found or listed in the DOC final determinations.

“Neutralising unfair trade practices that harm domestic industry is what the US antidumping and countervailing duty laws are about,” wrote Titan International in a statement.

The DOC also made a final affirmative determination in both the Indian and Sri Lankan countervailing duty cases on 4 January. “We are pleased that the US Department of Commerce made a final affirmative determination in both the Indian and Sri Lankan countervailing duty cases,” stated Paul Reitz, president and chief executive officer of Titan International. “Titan and the United Steelworkers Union petitioned the ITC in January 2016 for relief from unfair trade practices. The rates are in the five per cent range for Indian imported tyres and 2.2 per cent for Sri Lankan imports. Titan will review options once the final ITC outcome is known, which includes a chance to comment on any perceived errors, if identified, in the materials as released by the DOC.”

“President Elect Trump has made it clear that we need to protect US companies from the damage caused by imported products priced at uncompetitive levels and bring manufacturing jobs back to the US,” added Maurice Taylor. The Titan International chairman, a man whose strong views on unionised workforces caused a stir during negotiations on the potential acquisition of a Goodyear operation in France, then confirmed his company’s unity with the position held by the United Steelworkers union on import duties: “Leo Gerard, president USW International, when interviewed recently on Fox News, said it well when he stated President Elect Trump ran on the USW agenda. If President Elect Trump wants to add duties on imported goods, the USW will support and work with the incoming President. We are in agreement with his position on that and look forward to competing on a level playing field.”

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