WASHINGTON — The International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to levy permanent antidumping and countervailing duties against manufacturers and importers of Chinese steel wheels with rim diameters of 22.5 to 24.5 inches.
The ITC's action is part of its determination that steel commercial wheel imports from China are causing material injury to the U.S. steel wheel industry. The vote was 3-2, with Commissioners Irving Williamson, Rhonda Schmidtlein and Jason Kearns voting in the affirmative.
In August 2018, Commerce proposed antidumping duties of up to 231.7 percent and countervailing duties ranging from 48.75 to 172.51 percent on Chinese wheels.
Accuride Corp. and Maxion Wheels Akron L.L.C. petitioned the ITC in March 2018, seeking relief from Chinese steel wheel imports under Sections 701 and 731 of the Trade Act.
At an ITC hearing on March 14, Accuride and Maxion officials presented figures showing that Chinese steel wheel imports increased 14.6 percent from 2015 to 2017.
Imports grew 26.6 percent in January-May 2018 over the same period in 2017, but fell 47.1 percent in June-September 2018 after Commerce issued its preliminary duties, they said.
Accuride Wheels North America President Gregory Risch said at the hearing his company would be forced to close its plant in Henderson, Ky., and relocate to China unless the ITC provided relief.
In support of the Chinese importers, Amanda Walker, chief operations officer for Trans Texas Tire, said her company depended on the Chinese for aftermarket wheels.
U.S. wheel producers are unwilling to provide smaller lots of specialized wheels, or to offer suitable terms of sale, Ms. Walker said.
China exported 1.01 million steel wheels with rim diameters of 22.5 to 24.5 inches to the U.S. in 2017, according to ITC data. The ITC will notify Commerce officially of its decision May 13, the agency said.
This ITC decision has no bearing on a separate investigation of Chinese imports of steel trailer wheels, 12 to 16.5 inches in diameter.
On April 16, Commerce issued preliminary antidumping duties of 38.27 to 44.35 percent on those wheels. Two months earlier, the agency issued preliminary countervailing duties of 58.3 to 293.27 percent.