The U.S. Department of Commerce announced its preliminary determination that a cash-deposit requirement for an estimated antidumping duty, or tariff, will be instituted in connection with imports of 53-foot domestic dry containers from China.
The Commerce Department found that imports of “domestic containers” from China were being dumped in the U.S. market, assigning rates of 24.27 percent for the producer China International Marine Container Group (CIMC) and 153.24 percent for the producer Singamas. “All other” exporters in China were assigned a preliminary dumping margin of 24.27 percent.
It marks the second time in recent months that the Department of Commerce has found Chinese producers to be engaging in unfair trade practices. In September, the Department had made a preliminary determination in the parallel countervailing duty investigation of these producers, finding that both CIMC and Singamas had received impermissible subsidies from the Government of China. At that time, the Commerce Department instituted a cash deposit requirement in the amount of 10.46 percent and 7.13 percent for CIMC and Singamas, respectively. “All other” exporters were assigned a rate of 8.80 percent in the prior preliminary determination.
As a result of today’s action, imports of 53-foot domestic dry containers from China will be subject to a cash deposit requirement in an amount of the estimated tariffs, as a condition for importing these containers into the U.S. market. The new cash-deposit requirements, which will go into effect in about one week, will generally amount to the sum total of the margins found for each company in the countervailing duty and antidumping duty investigations.
The unfair trade investigations of imports from China were conducted in response to a petition filed in April 2014 by Stoughton Trailers, LLC. Stoughton Trailers, headquartered in Stoughton, Wisconsin, alleged in its petition that unfairly traded imports of these containers from China have prevented the industry from establishing a competitive footing in the U.S. market.
The cash-deposit requirements announced are preliminary. A final determination will be made by the Department of Commerce in both the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations in the first half of 2015, which could change the cash-deposit requirement rates. Between now and then, Commerce Department officials will conduct intensive on-site investigation activities with the Chinese producers to verify the information presented in their questionnaire responses. There will also be opportunities for all parties to the investigation to present additional factual information, as well as legal arguments, to the Department.