Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) investigations to determine whether imports of forged steel fittings from China, Italy and Taiwan are being dumped in the United States, and a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation to determine whether producers of forged steel fittings in China are receiving alleged unfair subsidies.
“The Department of Commerce intends to act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices, while also assuring a full and fair assessment of the facts,” said Secretary Ross. “The U.S. market is the most open in the world, but we must take action to ensure U.S. businesses and workers are treated fairly if our rules are being broken.”
These AD and CVD investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by the Bonney Forge Corporation (Mount Union, PA), and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (Pittsburgh, PA) on October 5. The estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners are 142.72 percent for China, 18.66 to 80.20 percent for Italy, and 116.17 percent for Taiwan. The unfair subsidy programs alleged by the petitioners relate to inputs from government authorities for less than adequate remuneration, taxes, grants, and preferential loans.;
In the AD investigations, the Commerce Department will determine whether imports of forged steel fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value.
In the CVD investigation, the Commerce Department will determine whether Chinese producers of forged steel fittings are receiving unfair government subsidies.
If the Commerce Department determines that forged steel fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan are being dumped into the U.S. market and China is providing unfair government subsidies, and if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized U.S. imports of forged steel fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan are causing injury to the U.S. industry, the Commerce Department will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.
In 2016, imports of forged steel fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan were valued at an estimated $78.4 million, $21.2 million, and $15.1 million, respectively.
Enforcement of U.S. trade law is a prime focus of the Trump administration. From January 20 through October 26, 2017, Commerce has initiated 77 AD and CVD investigations – a 60 percent increase over the previous year. Commerce currently maintains 411 AD and CVD duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.
Click HERE for a fact sheet on these initiations.
During the Commerce Department’s investigations into whether forged steel fittings are being dumped and/or unfairly subsidized, the ITC will conduct its own investigations into whether the U.S. industry and its workforce are being harmed by such imports. The ITC will make its preliminary determinations on or before November 20, 2017. If the ITC preliminarily determines that there is injury or threat of injury, then the Commerce Department investigations will continue, with a preliminary CVD determination scheduled for December 29, 2017, and preliminary AD determinations scheduled for March 14, 2018, unless these deadlines are extended.
If the Commerce Department preliminarily determines that dumping or unfair subsidization is occurring, then it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all U.S. companies importing the subject forged steel fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan.
Final determinations by the Commerce Department in these cases are scheduled for March 14, 2018, for the CVD investigation, and May 29, 2018, for the AD investigations, but those dates may be extended. If the Commerce Department finds that products are not being dumped or unfairly subsidized, or the ITC finds in its final determinations there is no harm to the U.S. industry, then the investigations will be terminated and no duties will be applied.
Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to “antidumping” duties. Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments, such as grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks and production inputs, are subject to “countervailing duties” aimed at directly countering those subsidies.