On Wednesday the United States government released a determination that below-cost imports of aluminium wire and cable from the People’s Republic of China led to a material injury to American manufacturers, necessitating a long-term imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties against future imports.
Acting upon a final determination by the U.S. Commerce Department on the subject last month, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said on Wednesday that the aluminium wire and cable imports sold at below the fair market value totaled US$115 million last year. As a result, USITC found a dumping rate of between 58.58 percent and 63.47 percent for aluminium wire and cable to be an appropriate remedy. Additionally, USITC saddled the Chinese producers of aluminium wire and cable subsidy rates ranging from 33.44 percent and 165.63 percent.
In addition to setting antidumping and countervailing duties, USITC will also issue a final report, which it plans to release just after the new year.
The duties are the result of an investigation launched on the grounds of a complaint by Encore Wire Corporation of Texas and Southwire Company of Georgia. Both firms sought relief from aluminium wire and cable imports from China they characterized as being subsidized by Beijing.
Experts say the findings are part of a wider push by the Trump Administration to increase enforcement of trade law, focusing primarily upon imports from China. Last month alone the administration said it began 184 new investigations into alleged dumping of below-cost items on the United States economy, an increase of over 200 percent from the Obama Administration. Insiders say this is part of a negotiating tactic to settle the first phase of a trade deal between the two governments, as the Trump Administration seeks more competitively-priced imports while Chinese government negotiators continue to push for relief from U.S. tariffs.