By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
The Sri Lanka’s Commerce Department is currently fighting what it calls an erroneous imposition of countervailing duties on Sri Lankan made pneumatic off-the-road (OTR) tyre exports to the US, with the aim of reducing or removing the duties, Mirror Business learns.
According to a highly placed Commerce Department official who is intimate with the matter but wanted to remain anonymous, there is a possibility of the countervailing duties to be reduced further or even being removed in the future after earlier negotiations resulted in a reduction to the rate of tax as well.
“We managed to get the tax rate down to 2.18 percent up to now. It was higher,” the official said.
The US International Trade Commission’s (USITC) final findings of an investigation that was published last week said that countervailing duty orders would be imposed on pneumatic off-the-road tyres imported to the US from Sri Lanka and India.
USITC had said that such products being imported to the US from are receiving subsidies in their origin countries.
The Commerce Department official said that USITC had made these observations based on erroneous data provided to them.
However, export industries in Sri Lanka do receive subsidized taxation.
USITC said Sri Lanka and India had exported US$ 229 million worth of new pneumatic off-the-road tyres to the US in 2015, harming 6 domestic producers in the US.
According to Sri Lankan government data, Sri Lanka had exported just US$ 57 million in both on and off-the-road pneumatic tyres to the US in 2015, a figure which fell to US$ 53 million in 2016.
“Sri Lanka is a very small player compared to India and China,” the official said.