WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce has determined preliminarily that imports of certain steel wheels from China are being subsidized and therefore subject to countervailing duties ranging from 48.75 to 172.51 percent.
Commerce's ruling is in response to a petition brought in April by Accuride Corp. of Evansville, Ind., and Maxion Wheels Akron L.L.C. of Akron.
The investigation covers certain on-the-road steel wheels, discs and rims for tubeless tires, with a nominal rim diameter of 22.5 inches and 24.5 inches, regardless of width, Commerce said. Such wheels generally are used on Class 6, 7, and 8 commercial vehicles. including tractors, semi-trailers, dump trucks, garbage trucks, concrete mixers, and buses.
Commerce said it expects to announce its final determinations on or about Jan. 8. If it makes an affirmative final determination — and if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes an affirmative final determination that imports of certain steel wheels from China materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry — Commerce will issue a final CVD order.
If either Commerce's or the ITC's final determination is negative, no CVD order will be issued.
According to Commerce, the U.S. imported 63.2 million steel wheels in this category last year, valued at $323 million. The 2017 total was 17.5 percent ahead of 2016 but 6.8 percent below the 2015 total.
U.S. CVD law provides U.S. businesses and workers with a transparent, quasi-judicial and internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the market-distorting effects caused by unfair subsidization of imports into the U.S., establishing an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.
Following its investigation, Commerce has assigned a preliminary subsidy rate of 58.75 percent for Xiamen Sunrise Wheel Group Co. Ltd., the same rate as applies to all other Chinese producers and exporters. Xiamen Sunrise Wheel was considered a "mandatory respondent" in the investigation.
Commerce also has assigned a preliminary subsidy rate of 172.51 percent for mandatory respondent Zhejiang Jingu Co. Ltd. and Shanghai Yata Industry Co. Ltd., based on total adverse facts available. Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of certain steel wheels from China based on these preliminary rates.