Pipe Products From China in Commerce Department’s Crosshairs
On February 14, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the imposition of preliminary antidumping duties on imports of cast iron soil pipe fittings from China.
Two days later, Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping countervailing duty investigations on cast iron soil pipe from China. The investigation will look into whether those products are are being dumped in the United States or if producers in China are receiving unfair subsidies.
With respect to the pipe fittings, Commerce preliminarily determined that exporters from China have sold cast iron soil pipe fittings in the United States at 68.37 to 109.95 percent less than fair value. In January, Commerce slapped preliminary CVDs on the same products.
As a result, Commerce will instruct US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of cast iron soil pipe fittings from China based on these preliminary rates. In 2016, imports of cast iron soil pipe fittings from China were valued at an estimated $8.6 million.
“Politics plays no role in antidumping investigations,” Ross commented.
The AD and CVD investigations with respect to the soil pipes were initiated based on petitions filed by the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute. In the AD investigation, the Commerce Department will determine whether imports of cast iron soil pipe from China are being dumped in the US market at less than fair value. In the CVD investigation, the Commerce Department will determine whether Chinese producers of cast iron soil pipe are receiving government subsidies. The estimated dumping margin alleged by the petitioner is 93.32 percent.
China has 32 subsidy programs including preferential loan and interest rate programs, debt-to-equity swaps, equity infusions, loan forgiveness programs, direct and indirect income tax programs, and others, according to the petition.
If Commerce determines that cast iron soil pipe from China is being dumped into the US market or that China is providing government subsidies, and if the US International Trade Commission (ITC) separately determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized US imports of cast iron soil pipe from China are causing injury to US industry, the Commerce Department will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist. The ITC determination is expected on March 12. The results of Commerce’s preliminary investigations are expected on April 23, 2018, for CVD and on July 5 for AD. Final determinations by the Commerce Department in these cases are scheduled for July 5, 2018, for the CVD investigation, and September 18, 2018, for the AD investigation.
In 2017, imports of cast iron soil pipe from China were valued at $11.5 million.