US Investigating Imports of Stainless Steel Flanges from China and India
Commerce Department Contemplates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duties
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India are being dumped in the United States, and whether producers in China and India are receiving alleged unfair subsidies.
The AD and CVD investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by the Coalition of American Flange Producers and its individual members: Core Pipe Products, Inc. (Carol Stream, Ill.) and Maass Flange Corporation (Houston, Texas) on August 16. The estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners range from 99.23 to 257.11 percent and 78.49 percent to 145.25 percent for China and India, respectively.
Foreign companies that price their products in the US 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.
In the AD investigation, the Commerce Department will determine whether imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India are being dumped in the US market at less than fair value. In the CVD investigations, the Commerce Department will determine whether Chinese and Indian producers of stainless steel flanges are receiving unfair government subsidies.
If the Commerce Department determines that stainless steel flanges from China and India are being dumped into the US market and/or receiving unfair government subsidies, and if the US International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized US imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India are causing injury to the US 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 stainless steel flanges from China and India were valued at an estimated $16.3 million and $32.1 million, respectively.
During the Commerce Department’s investigations into whether stainless steel flanges are being dumped and/or unfairly subsidized, the ITC will conduct its own investigations into whether the US industry and its workforce are being harmed by such imports. The ITC will make its preliminary determinations on or before October 2. 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 November 2017, and a preliminary AD determination scheduled for January 2018, unless these deadlines are extended.
If the Commerce Department preliminarily determines that dumping or unfair subsidization is occurring, then it will instruct US Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all US companies importing the subject stainless steel flanges from China and India.
Final determinations by the Commerce Department in these cases are scheduled for January 2018 for the CVD investigations, and April 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 US industry, then the investigations will be terminated and no duties will be collected.
From January 20, 2017, through September 6, 2017, Commerce has initiated 62 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations—a 41-percent increase over the previous year. Commerce currently maintains 407 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.
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