In recent weeks and months, Roy Armes has voiced on a number of occasions that Cooper Tire & Rubber still views China as an important part of the company’s future plans, despite its experiences at the Cooper Chengshan Tire (CCT) joint venture factory in 2013. Most recently, the chairman, chief executive officer and president confirmed during a conference call on 4 December that the country “will continue to be an important part of our long-term growth strategy.” But that doesn’t mean Cooper Tire can’t or won’t adjust its activities in China to meet global market conditions. In light of a new round of tariff measures in the US, which came into effect shortly after Cooper Tire sold its 65 per cent share in CCT, the company has shifted some of its production from China to other global locations, and it will continue to do so should conditions favour this strategy.
When is a tariff-able tyre not subject to an import tariff? When there are exceptions. With the latest round of US tyre import tariffs aimed squarely at imports of Chinese-produced tyres, it is useful to know what isn’t covered and why.
Following the news that the preliminary ruling is effective 1 December 2014 and retroactive for 90 days prior to this date, further details of what is and what isn’t covered by the rules have emerged. But first a couple of clarifications. There are two categories of import duties that the US government has and is deliberating over. Details of the first – countervailing duties – have already been reported and preliminarily decided upon. All things being equal, the final verdict for these will be issued “no later than 6 April 2015”. Within 45 days after this, the US International Trade Commission will make its own decision about what anti-dumping import tariffs to impose. Therefore total tariffs could be very substantial.