The situation is exactly the same now as then, according to Titan and the USW. Rising imports of the tires named in the new petition have seized market share and are driving down prices, production and employment in a declining market, they claim.
“The OTR tire industry provides high-paying, high-skilled jobs with family-supporting benefits,” said USW International Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson at the hearing. “All of that is now at risk because of these dumped and subsidized imports from China, India and Sri Lanka.”
Countering Titan’s position, Domenic Mazzola, vice president of engineering and OE sales at Alliance Tire Americas, said: “Titan’s dependence on the OE segment of this market has meant that they have suffered most from the downturn in demand at the OE level.”
Titan also made some errors in business strategy, according to Mazzola, such as its emphasis on low sidewall (LSW) tires.
“LSW technology is fairly old, but Titan has decided to push this technology as a distinguishing feature for its agricultural tire line, where the purported benefits of LSW technology are still questionable,” he said.
The Commerce Department is scheduled to vote on whether to institute its own investigation of the Chinese, Indian and Sri Lankan OTR tires on Wednesday, 3 Feb. The confidential reply briefs in the ITC case are due the same day, with public versions due 4 Feb. The ITC will vote 19 Feb on whether to pursue the investigation, and send its report on the vote to Commerce 22 Feb.
On the same day as the ITC hearing on OTR tires, the USW petitioned the agency for antidumping and countervailing duties against truck and bus tires imported from China.