US Hits Imports From Four Countries With Punitive Duties
The US Department of Commerce issued preliminary countervailing duty determinations yesterday on products from China, Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced an affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of aluminum foil from China, finding that Chinese exporters of aluminum foil received subsidies of 16.56 to 80.97 percent.
Ross also announced the preliminary findings determinations of investigations of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan. Those investigations found that silicon metal exporters from those markets received subsidies of 16.23 percent, 3.69 to 52.07 percent, and 120 percent, respectively.
The Commerce Department will instruct US Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of all of the products involved based on these preliminary rates. Ross added that the department “will continue to validate the information provided to us that brought us to this decision.”
US countervailing duty law allows the US government to impose duties on imports where it is found the products are subsidized by the governments of the exporter.
With respect to the Chinese aluminum foil matter, Commerce calculated preliminary subsidy rates of 28.33 percent for Dingsheng Aluminum Industries (Hong Kong) Trading Co., Ltd., and 16.56 percent for Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials Co., Ltd., the two companies that ultimately participated in the proceeding.
Loften Aluminum (Hong Kong) Limited refused to participate. Manakin Industries LLC claimed to only be an importer, although the Commerce analysis revealed that Manakin Industries LLC and Suzhou Manakin Aluminum Processing Technology Co., Ltd. worked jointly to export Chinese aluminum foil to the United States. The department requested information from Suzhou Manakin regarding its Chinese suppliers, but this information was not provided. The preliminary subsidy rates for these three companies were determined on the basis of adverse facts available due to their failure to provide information.
In 2016, imports of aluminum foil from China were valued at $389 million.
The countervailing duty case against aluminum foil from China is independent of the Section 232 aluminum investigation, launched on April 27, to consider whether aluminum overcapacity, dumping, illegal subsidies, and other factors, threaten US economic security and military preparedness.
Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final CVD determination on the Chinese aluminum foil investigation on October 24.
The petitioner in the silicon metal case was Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. The company has production facilities in Alabama, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia. In 2016, imports of silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, and Kazakhstan were valued at $33.9 million, $60.0 million, and $17.5 million, respectively.
Commerce is scheduled to announce its final CVD determinations for the silicon metal investigations on December 19.
With respect to both matters, the US International Trade Commission must still determine whether US industry was injured by the foreign subsidies. If Commerce makes negative final determinations of subsidization or the ITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no final orders will be issued.