US Initiates Investigations of Imports of Titanium Sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan
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 titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan are being unfairly dumped in the United States, and whether producers in Kazakhstan are receiving alleged unfair subsidies.
The AD and CVD investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by Titanium Metals Corporation, a.k.a., TIMET, of Pennsylvania, on August 24, 2017. The dumping margins alleged by the petitioner range from 66.69 percent to 95.2 percent for Japan and 42.22 percent for Kazakhstan. The unfair subsidies are estimated to be above de minimis, that is, one percent or greater for Kazakhstan.
In the AD investigation, the Commerce Department will determine whether imports of titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan are being sold in the US market at less than fair value.
In the CVD investigation, the Commerce Department will determine whether Kazakhstan producers of titanium sponge are receiving countervailable government subsidies.
“The Department of Commerce intends to act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices and will render our decisions at the earliest opportunity, while also assuring a full and fair assessment of the facts,” said Ross. “The US market is the most open in the world, but we must take action to ensure US businesses and workers are treated fairly.”
If the Commerce Department determines that titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan are being dumped into the US market and Kazakhstan is receiving unfair government subsidies, and if the US International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized US imports of titanium sponge from Japan and/or Kazakhstan 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 titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan were valued at an estimated $144.8 million and $374,000, respectively.
During the Commerce Department’s investigations into whether titanium sponge is 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 10. 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 preliminary AD determinations 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 titanium sponge from Japan and Kazakhstan.
Final determinations by the Commerce Department in these cases are scheduled for January 2018 for the CVD investigation, and April 2018 for the AD investigation, but those dates may be extended. If either 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 applied.