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The Commerce Department’s decision to impose countervailing duties on passenger and light truck tires from China exempts ST-type trailer tires and other speed-limited specialty tires.

Tire Business reported that the exemption was sought by the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) with the support of more than a dozen distributors of specialty trailer tires, including Elkhart, Ind.-based Tredit Tire.

The Commerce Department’s exemption is specific in that it requires tires to be considered have:

  • The size designation molded into the sidewall must be listed in the ST sections of the Tire and Rim Association (TRA) Year Book;
  • The designation “ST” must be molded into the tire’s sidewall as part of the size designation;
  • The tire incorporates a warning, prominently molded on the sidewall, that the tire is “For Trailer Service Only” or “For Trailer Use Only”;
  • The load index molded on the tire’s sidewall meets or exceeds those load indexes listed in the TRA Year Book for the relevant ST tire size; and
  • The tire’s speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in mph or a letter rating as listed by TRA, and the rated speed does not exceed 81 mph or an “M” rating.

RVIA and others asked Commerce to consider dropping the last of the exemption requirements because many imported ST tires do not have such speed rating marks molded into the sidewall and thus would subject to possible antidumping and countervailing duties, the national trade organization explained to Tire Business.

“So while the revised scope is better than the original scope filed with the petition,” said Michael Ochs, director, government affairs, for RVIA, “we are still concerned that many ST tires will be inadvertently affected and subjected to the countervailing duties and potential antidumping duties.”

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