Beijing’s unfair trade practices are the target of U.S. tariffs that went into effect on July 6. On the same day, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported malpractice by China in the piping industry.
The Commerce Department determined that Chinese imports of cast iron soil pipe fittings—a type of plumbing implement—sold in the U.S. market were priced at 22.11 to 360.39 percent below fair market value, a practice known as dumping.
The agency made the determination after American manufacturers petitioned and subsequently initiated antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations.
Beijing also provided subsidies to Chinese producers of cast iron soil pipe fittings at rates ranging from 7.37 to 133.94 percent. Such subsidies are a form of financial assistance that companies within a specific industry receive from their government, effectively undermining fair trade competition.
Several Chinese companies were named, including Shanxi Xuanshi Industrial Group and Wor-Biz Trading based in eastern China’s Anhui Province.
In 2017, Chinese imports of cast iron soil pipe fittings were valued at about $7.8 million, with a total volume of 6,272 metric tons, according to the Commerce Department.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is scheduled to make a final decision based on the Commerce Department’s findings on Aug. 20. If the ITC determines that these Chinese pipe fittings harm the U.S. industry, the Commerce Department could issue AD and CVD tariffs on Chinese-made pipe fittings.
The investigation into Chinese pipe fittings was one of 118 new AD and CVD investigations that the Commerce Department has opened since President Donald Trump took office.
The Commerce Department currently maintains 448 AD and CVD duty orders—measures to alleviate American companies from the damage of unfairly priced and unfairly subsidized imports.
On May 29, the White House announced that in 2018 alone, 13 different Chinese imports, including steel wheels, cold-drawn mechanical tubing, tool chests and cabinets, forged steel fittings, aluminum foil, and rubber bands were either dumped in the United States or unfairly subsidized by the Chinese regime. Some of the imported items, such as aluminum foil, now have countervailing tariffs in place.
In January, the European Union also imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese-manufactured cast iron products, including gratings, drains, and manhole covers, after an investigation by the European Commission.