U.S. Sets Preliminary Penalties on Chinese Wire Decking
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday that it has set preliminary countervailing duties (CVD) on imports of steel wire decking from China, a move that might escalate trade disputes between the two countries.
The department said it “preliminarily determined that Chinese producers/exporters have received net countervailable subsidies ranging from 2.02 to 437.73 percent.”
As a result of this preliminary determination, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect a cash deposit or bond based on these preliminary rates.
The product covered by this investigation is welded-wire rack decking produced from carbon or alloy steel wire that has been welded into a mesh pattern. The wire mesh is reinforced with structural supports and designed to be load bearing.
Wire decking reinforced with structural supports is designed generally for industrial and other commercial storage rack systems.
From 2006 to 2008, imports of wire decking from China increased49 percent by value and amounted to an estimated 317 million dollars in 2008, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
Commerce said that it is currently scheduled to make its final determination in March 2010.
If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination, and the U.S. International Trade Commission makes an affirmative final determination that imports of wire decking from China materially injures, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry, Commerce will issue a countervailing duty order.
The new case followed U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent decision to impose punitive tariffs on all car and light truck tires from China for three years, a move quickly denounced by China as a “serious act of trade protectionism.”
The protectionist moves by the Obama administration will ultimately hurt the U.S.-China trade relations, which are becoming more and more important due to the global financial crisis, economists warned.