The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers’ (NATM) technical staff has been working with its government affairs advisors to make sure that a U.S. Department of Commerce investigation doesn’t incorrectly include special trailer (ST) tires and assess future tariffs on them.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Commerce opened an investigation in response to a petition alleging certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires produced in China were unfairly competing with domestically produced tires.  The petition sought to have tariffs imposed upon those products in order to compensate for the harm alleged to be caused to the U.S. industry.

NATM believes that during an expansion of the scope requested by the petitioners, it is possible that certain types of ST tires may have been captured and could be subject to future tariffs.

The comment date on the issue was Monday. In the event members wish to file more technical comments, NATM recommends that they confer with their own legal counsel in order to do so.

In a letter to NATM members, the organization wrote: “As noted in NATM's comments, trailer tires are not marked with the ‘P’ or ‘LT’ prefixes but rather are marked on the sidewall ‘for trailer use only.’ These products are produced exclusively for use on trailers and the vast majority are not manufactured in the United States.  Further, ST tires and all specialty trailer tires marked ‘For Trailer Use Only’ are not found in the passenger tire or light truck tire sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book. We are concerned that inclusion of ST tires in the scope of this investigation would lead to higher costs and potential shortages of ST tires. If this occurs, it would have a significant adverse impact on the light and medium duty trailer industry.”

For more information, contact executive director Pam O’Toole Trusdale at