Cooper director applauds Chinese tire ruling

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NASHVILLE, TN – The director of Cooper Tire’s truck-related business is clearly happy with news that the U.S. Department of Commerce will not issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders on tires imported from China.

“It was certainly a concern,” said Gary Schroeder, during an interview at the annual meeting of the American Trucking Associations’ Technology and Maintenance Council. “We believe in free and fair trade.”

In December, Cooper invested US $93 million to purchase 65% of China-based Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber, which is now operated as Cooper Qingdao Tire. And that investment gives the business valuable production capacity. “It gives us more bandwidth,” he said, also stressing that products are engineered in Finley, Ohio.

Cooper is coming off a “fantastic” 2016, Schroeder adds. “Our truck tire business was up 13% in an industry that was up 4%. We’re outpacing the market quite well.”

The latest offering unveiled at the trade show was the Roadmaster RM852 Energy Max drive tire that has a SmartWay designation. With a tread depth of 30/32 inches, it is designed to last more than 400,000 kilometers, Schroeder says.

Given the costs of equipment that meets tougher standards for Greenhouse Gas emissions, he adds, “we feel the market is going to look more than ever to a value tire.”

Tires like those made by Cooper.

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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