Senior Communications Manager
U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Preliminary Antidumping Duties on Stainless Steel Flanges from China and India
Washington, DC— Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the preliminary results of its ongoing antidumping investigations into stainless steel flanges from China and India, imposing combined antidumping and countervailing duties of 431.84% on imports of Chinese flanges, and duties of 23.1% – 384.86% on Indian flanges.
On August 16, 2017, the Coalition of American Flange Producers, an ad hoc association of U.S. producers of stainless steel flanges, filed petitions with Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that the U.S. stainless steel flange industry had been materially injured by unfairly priced imports from China and India. Commerce initiated investigations into the petitions on September 11, 2017, and has since been assessing whether the prices of Chinese and Indian imports are below-cost and whether these goods’ production is subsidized by the Chinese and Indian governments. Commerce has now preliminarily answered both questions in the affirmative.
Daniel B. Pickard, counsel to the Coalition and partner in the International Trade Practice at Wiley Rein LLP, stated that “the U.S. industry is gratified by Commerce’s preliminary determination, which underscores the extreme, unfair pricing of Chinese and Indian flanges.” Mr. Pickard added that, while high, the preliminary duties do not reflect the final duties that importers will owe on incoming shipments. “Under U.S. law, the antidumping and countervailing duties paid at entry are only estimates. The final duty liability for these imports may be higher than these estimates, and will ultimately be determined by Commerce through a post-investigation review process that likely will not conclude until 2020.”
Stainless steel flanges are used as connectors for stainless steel pipes and piping components such as tanks, valves, and pumps. The current investigations cover not only finished Chinese and Indian flanges imported into the United States, but unfinished flanges, and flanges finished in third countries using Chinese or Indian forgings.
Commerce imposed countervailing duties on imports of Chinese and Indian stainless steel flanges effective January 23, 2018. The covered imports will now be subject to additional antidumping duties, effective with the date of the publication of Commerce’s announcement in the Federal Register, likely within a week.
Now that it has made its preliminary determination, Commerce will proceed to finalize its calculations. The U.S. International Trade Commission, which made an affirmative, preliminary determination that Chinese and Indian imports have injured the U.S. flange injury late last year, will likewise proceed to finalize its determination. Final determinations from both agencies are expected by June, 2018. Assuming that both agencies’ final determinations are affirmative, Commerce will issue antidumping duty and countervailing duty orders within seven days of the later of the two agencies’ final determinations.