In the Sept/Oct issue if European Rubber Journal magazine, editor Patrick Raleigh reviews current development in the global industry:
Whether putting tariffs on products from other countries is a valid measure – protecting domestic industries from cut-price imports – or protectionism, is a matter for national and international trade authorities to decide.
There is, however, no dispute that we are seeing a significant ramp-up in the level of anti-dumping investigation-activity and actions in the tire and rubber manufacturing sectors.
As we report in this issue, authorities in the US, India and Mexico are each moving to put anti-dumping duties on imports of ESBR (emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber) from various producers around the world.
And in the tire industry, the lead set by the US three years ago in imposing tariffs on low-cost passenger car tires from China now looks set to be followed – in the truck & bus tire sector, at least – by India and the European Union.
After years of pleading by EU manufacturers, the European Commission has finally decided to investigate evidence of “significant” dumping margins on Chinese-made truck & bus tires.
These imports, the EC noted, had increased both in terms of volumes and market share, resulting in “substantial adverse effects” on performance and employment across the EU tire industry.
Many view tariffs as counter-productive, leading to business-failures and job-losses in the supply chains and increasing costs to consumers in countries and regions where measures are introduced – all with only limited benefit to the domestic manufacturers they are intended to help.
On the other hand, the level of market-share being lost by European truck & bus tire manufacturers and retreaders suggests that at some point action should be taken.