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U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Steel Racks from China


Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether steel racks from China are being dumped in the United States and to determine if producers in China are receiving unfair subsidies.

“The protection of American industries against the threats posed by unfair trading practices is of the utmost importance to the President,” said Secretary Ross. “The Department of Commerce will continue to act to ensure that U.S. workers and businesses have a fair chance to compete.”

These antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by the Coalition for Fair Rack Imports, the members of which are Bulldog Rack Company (Weirton, WV), Hannibal Industries, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA), Husky Rack and Wire (Denver, NC), Ridg-U-Rak, Inc. (North East, PA), SpaceRak (Marysville, MI), Speedrack Products Group, Ltd. (Sparta, MI), Steel King Industries, Inc. (Stevens Point, WI), Tri-Boro Shelving & Partition Corp. (Farmville, VA), and UNARCO Material Handling, Inc. (Springfield, TN) on June 20, 2018.  

In the AD investigation, Commerce will determine whether imports of steel racks from China are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value.

The alleged dumping margins range from 130.0 to 144.5 percent.

In the CVD investigation, Commerce will determine whether Chinese producers of steel racks are receiving unfair government subsidies.

There are 28 subsidy programs alleged, including five preferential loan and interest rate programs, one debt-to-equity swap program, six income tax and other direct subsidy programs, two indirect tax programs, seven less than adequate remuneration (LTAR) programs, as well as seven grant programs.

If Commerce makes affirmative findings in these investigations, and if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized U.S. imports of steel racks from China are causing injury to the U.S. industry, Commerce will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.

The petitioner estimates that imports of steel racks in 2017 were valued at approximately $200 million. 

Click HERE for a fact sheet on these initiations.

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 120 new AD and CVD investigations – this is 32 percent more than the 91 initiations in the last 537 days of the previous administration.

Antidumping and countervailing duty laws provide American businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of dumping unfairly priced and unfairly subsidized imports into the United States.  Commerce currently maintains 448 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Next Steps:

During Commerce’s investigations into whether steel racks from China 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 August 6, 2018.  If the ITC preliminarily determines that there is injury or threat of injury, then Commerce’s investigations will continue, with the preliminary CVD determination scheduled for September 13, 2018, and preliminary AD determination scheduled for November 27, 2018, unless these deadlines are extended.

If Commerce preliminarily determines that dumping and/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 steel racks from China.

Final determinations by Commerce in these cases are scheduled for November 27, 2018, for the CVD investigation, and February 11, 2019, for the AD investigation, but those dates may be extended.  If Commerce finds that products are not being dumped and/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.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.

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.  Foreign companies that receive financial assistance from foreign governments that benefits the production of goods from foreign companies and is limited to specific enterprises or industries, or is contingent either upon export performance or upon the use of domestic goods over imported goods, are subject to countervailing duties.