China's tire exports "who's cheese?"

A few days ago, investigations by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) frequently pointed to Chinese companies. On August 14, 2013, Toyo Rubber Industries Co., Ltd. (Toyo Rubber Co., Ltd.) and its US subsidiary filed a lawsuit against ITC, alleging that tire manufacturers, importers, and sellers, including six Chinese companies, were imported into the United States. The company’s patents were infringed upon the sale of tires.

As early as 2009, IT C had proposed to use a three-year taxation to “knife” the Chinese tire industry. For 10 consecutive years, China has become the world's largest tire producer, its tire companies have repeatedly encountered in overseas exports, China's tire companies in the end "who's cheese?"

Toyo Rubber accuses Chinese tires of suffering

According to an announcement issued by ITC, in the accusations of the Toyo Rubber, ITC was required to conduct a “337 investigation” on 22 tire manufacturers including 6 Chinese tire companies on the grounds that the 22 companies were “infringed on their tread And tire wall design patents."

It is reported that the six Chinese tire manufacturers involved are: Double Star Dongfeng Tire Company, Guangzhou Huanan Rubber Tire Company, Shandong Linglong Tire Company, Shandong Yongtai Chemicals Group, South China Tire & Rubber Company and Weifang Shunfuchang Rubber & Plastics Co., Ltd. Among them, Shandong Linglong tires and double star tires ranked second and fourth in Chinese tire companies. The former ranked first in China’s tire exports for several consecutive years.

The accused also included a Thai tire manufacturer, 14 tire distributors headquartered in the United States and a distributor headquartered in China. The tire products involved included 11 brands and models.

Toyo Tire stated in its lawsuit that Toyo Tire asked IT C to issue exclusion orders for violating companies, prohibit infringement of its patented tires into the US market, and prohibit sales of offending tire products that have entered the US market. If the request of Toyo Tire is approved, IT C issues an “Exclusion Order” to instruct U.S. Customs to ban the import of related products, which will hit China's tire industry and rubber industry. Data show that in 2012, of the 410 million new tires exported by China, exports to the United States reached 68.96 million, reaching a share of 16.6%.

The gap between export volume and export quality

This is not the first time that the Chinese tire industry has “laid shotguns”. In recent years, tire companies have repeatedly suffered setbacks in overseas exports. "The Chinese tire industry has repeatedly been investigated by various governments, and to a large extent related to its rapid development in recent years. The so-called 'big tree attracts the wind'." Sun Shiqing, an auto industry analyst, said. Preliminary statistics show that since 2002, China’s tire production has ranked first in the world for 10 consecutive years, accounting for 1/3 of the global total. In fact, as of 2012, there are more than 500 large-scale tire companies in China, and most of them are small and medium-sized enterprises with a low level of industry concentration. At present, 42% of China's tire production is sold overseas, mainly for passenger cars and bicycles.

In addition, the unbalanced trade between China and the United States and between China and other countries has also affected the international environment for the export of tires.

On the other hand, the quality of the export products of many tire companies is difficult to reach the standards of the importing countries, especially European and American countries, which also makes it a “hard-hit area” for many rounds of anti-dumping investigations. Some analysts said that the European Union’s tire "Labeling Law" has begun to implement and impose stricter requirements on the performance of imported tires. In China, 30% of car tires do not meet the minimum requirements for rolling resistance in the first phase of the EU, and 70% do not meet the minimum requirements for Phase II.

For the lawsuit, IT C will make an announcement on whether or not to file the case after one month. At present, the China Rubber Industry Association has notified Chinese companies of the alleged news release to several related tire companies, and plans to convene the above-mentioned six tire companies in conjunction with relevant departments such as the Ministry of Commerce in early September to inform the progress of the cases.

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