Retreaders see threat in Chinese-made tires

John G Smith

FALLS CHURCH, VA – A U.S. International Trade Commission decision not to enact tariffs on Chinese truck and bus tires is threatening jobs in the U.S. retreading industry, the Tire Retread and Repair Information Bureau says.

Truck tire retreading has historically represented half of the replacement tire market in the U.S., but the share dropped to 44% in 2016, representing 4 million fewer retreads. The reason, the bureau says, is “low-cost, low-quality Chinese tires”.

“The various supplier and manufacturing industries that support the retread industry such as materials and equipment companies, tire repair manufacturers,  and tire rubber recyclers have all been negatively impacted by this decline. While these low-quality Chinese tires may have similar initial costs as retreaded tires, their total cost-per-mile over the life of the tire is significantly higher than retreaded tires,” the group says in a recent bulletin. “Any short-term savings are completely dwarfed by long-term costs and this will drive up transportation costs for fleets and owner-operators, which will have to be passed on to consumers.”  

Retreading is reportedly a $3.2 billion industry in the U.S., representing 50,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The U.S. Department of Commerce had recommended antidumping duties as high as 22.57% and countervailing duties as high as 65.46%, but the International Trade Commission decided not to enact tariffs, saying that U.S. jobs were not threatened.

 

John G Smith

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

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