WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce has levied preliminary countervailing duties of 58.3 to 293.27 percent against imported steel trailer wheels from China.
The investigation began in August 2018 from a petition from Dexstar Wheel Co., a division of American Development Inc./Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd.
Elkhart, Ind.-based Dexstar sought antidumping and countervailing duties under Section 701 and 731 of the Trade Act against steel wheels, rims and discs for tubeless tires with a nominal wheel diameter of 12 to 16.5 inches.
Wheels of this diameter, Commerce said in its Feb. 15 preliminary determination, are used on road and highway trailers and other towable equipment, including utility trailers, horse trailers, cargo trailers, boat trailers, recreational trailers and towable mobile homes.
Commerce found a preliminary subsidy rate of 58.3 percent against the sole participating mandatory respondent, Zhejiang Jingu Co. Ltd. Based on the available adverse facts, it found a subsidy rate of 293.27 percent against Xingmin Intelligent Transportation Systems Group.
For all other Chinese steel wheel producers and exporters, Commerce found a subsidy rate of 58.3 percent, based entirely on the subsidy rate for Zhejiang Jingu.
Commerce is scheduled to make its final determination in the case July 1, followed by a final determination on material injury from the International Trade Commission on Aug. 15, according to Commerce.
Imports of Chinese steel wheels of 12 to 16.5 inches grew to 50,676 metric tons in 2017 from 42,195 tons in 2015, Commerce said, an increase of 20 percent. The value of those wheels increased to $73.8 million in 2017 from $66.7 million in 2015, it said.
This investigation is different from the investigation of steel commercial vehicle wheels (22.5 to 24.5 inches) based on petitions from Accuride Corp. and Maxxon Wheels Akron L.L.C.
Commerce proposed antidumping duties of up to 231.7 percent and countervailing duties of 48.75 to 172.51 percent against commercial vehicle wheels. An ITC hearing on that investigation is scheduled for March 14.