Commerce Department Launches Antidumping Investigation of Chinese Aluminum Producers

Chinese aluminum exports
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The Commerce Department announced Tuesday that it is undertaking anti-dumping investigations into imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China.

The investigations announced Tuesday are being conducted on the Commerce Department’s own initiative. Typically anti-dumping investigations are prompted by complaints of U.S. companies. The last time the Commerce Department self-initiated a so-called antidumping and countervailing duty investigation was against Japan in the 1980s.

“President Trump said he would vigorously enforce our trade laws and be more enforcement-minded than our predecessors. Today’s action shows that we intend to make good on that promise to the American people,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC’s Lori Ann LaRocco.

Antidumping and countervailing duty investigations examine whether a foreign country is unfairly subsidizing exports or dumping them onto the U.S. market in ways that injure U.S. competitors. The U.S. suspects that Chinese producers are selling aluminum sheet in the U.S. at prices below their cost of production.

Separately, Secretary Ross also announced that it had reached a “final determination” that China is providing unfair subsidies to producers of tool chests and cabinets. Last year, imports of tool chests and cabinets for China were valued at an estimated $230 million. As a result of the final determination, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customers and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of tool chests to offset the value of the subsidies.

The cabinet and tool chest investigation was launched at the request of Waterloo Industries, which manufacturers tool chests in Sedalia, Missouri.

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