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  October 16th, 2018 | Written by


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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has 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 investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by the Coalition for Fair Rack Imports, the members of which are eight companies from West Virginia, California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia and Tennessee. The petitioner estimates that imports of steel racks in 2017 were valued at approximately $200 million.

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. Commerce will determine whether Chinese producers of steel racks are receiving unfair government subsidies in the CVD probe.

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.

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.

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.

During Commerce’s investigations into whether steel racks from China are being dumped and/or unfairly subsidized, the ITC is conducting its own probes into whether the U.S. industry and its workforce are being harmed by such imports. Final determinations from Commerce and the ITC are not expected until the end of the year and/or February of 2019.


Mediterranean Shipping Co., one of the world’s largest ocean container carriers, will lease 2,000 containers chilled by Carrier Transicold’s innovative, natural refrigerant-based NaturaLINE refrigeration system.

NaturaLINE solves the problem of how to use refrigerants effectively and efficiently—to transport valuable items such as perishable food and pharmaceuticals—while helping to protect the environment. The system utilizes repurposed carbon dioxide (CO2), the refrigerant with the lowest global warming potential (GWP) among all container refrigerants currently in use. MSC’s new refrigerated containers—all 40-foot high-cube models—are being leased from SeaCube Containers LLC.

SeaCube Containers LLC of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, owns and manages dry and refrigerated shipping containers and generator sets used to power refrigerated containers. The company leases equipment primarily under long-term contracts to the world’s largest shipping lines globally.

“The NaturaLINE unit’s innovative use of CO2 is the first of its kind available on the reefer market,” said Giuseppe Prudente, chief logistics officer, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. “By providing higher level of performance in the minus 40 degrees Celsius deep-frozen range, we can add new capabilities for our growing customer base, particularly for seafood and other high-value frozen commodities. Shipping is already one of the most environmentally sustainable forms of cargo transportation, and we are pleased to continue to improve our environmental performance by equipping our fleet with the latest green technologies.”

The ability to achieve minus 40 Celsius was previously only attainable in container systems using a refrigerant with a GWP nearly 4,000 times higher. The NaturaLINE unit has managed this, along with high efficiency, a quiet operation and tight temperature control.

“The NaturaLINE unit, with CO2 refrigerant, takes users directly to an end state by guarding against regulations, environmental taxes and phase outs that other refrigerants will be subject to during their operational lifespan,” said David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems. “In addition, CO2 is non-ozone depleting, widely available, relatively inexpensive and nonflammable.”

Carrier Transicold recognized the need for refrigeration technology that would neutralize concerns over GWP—in much the same way that it led the industry away from ozone-depleting refrigerants ahead of Montreal Protocol deadlines 25 years ago.

“In taking leadership to provide a natural-refrigerant solution, Carrier Transicold created what is perhaps the most sound investment a leasing company and shipping line can make—a refrigerated container that will not become obsolete in its lifetime due to pressures from environmental legislation,” said Robert Sappio, CEO, SeaCube. “By fulfilling the NaturaLINE unit’s first order of this magnitude, SeaCube is pleased to be part of this important development for the shipping industry.”

MSC will begin taking delivery of its new containers from SeaCube later in the year. The NaturaLINE units will be supported by Carrier Transicold’s global service network.


President Donald Trump’s proposal to impose tariffs on imported automobiles, SUVs, vans, trucks and auto parts prompted warnings from automakers that those measures would reverse the industry’s recent job growth. An analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) echoed that view, calculating a five-percent drop in auto sector employment if trading partners retaliate on a hypothetical 25-percent tariff. Trump has stated a preference for that level of duty, although some news reports suggest that the expected levy now stands at 20 percent. The ultimate tariff rate will be based on the recommendation of an ongoing investigation by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, subject to presidential approval.

A recent PIIE report examined the effects of those tariffs on consumers. Auto tariffs would come on top of tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum imports, which automakers say raise auto production costs by one percent. The proposed auto tariffs, according to the report, will raise car prices significantly, “suppressing sales and pushing some buyers with modest incomes out of the new car market entirely.”

The average price of an entry-level compact car will increase between $1,409 and $2,057, according to PIIE, while the price of a new compact SUV/crossover—the most popular vehicle in America—will rise by $2,092 to $3,066. Upscale versions of the compact SUV/crossover will rise by $4,708 to $6,971, “because of higher imported foreign content, and hence higher taxes paid, for the typical luxury vehicle,” states PIIE.

Because of crossborder automobile manufacturing supply chains, the report also noted, “There are, in fact, no 100 percent ‘made in the USA’ cars.” Many foreign-brand cars are assembled in the U.S. and some contain more U.S. content than similar vehicles bearing Detroit brands.