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25 January 20236 minute read

New antidumping and countervailing duty petition: tin mill products from Canada, China, Germany and more

On January 18, 2023, Cleveland Cliffs Inc. and the United Steelworkers union filed a petition with the US Department of Commerce (DOC) and the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that tin mill products from Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the UK (the subject countries) are being sold in the US at less than fair value.  The petition also alleges that that the government of China is providing unfair subsidies to its producers and exporters of tin mill products to the US.

The petitioners seek the imposition of antidumping (AD) duties on imports of tin mill products from the subject countries, alleging dumping margins of 78.29 percent for Canada, 130.88 percent for China, 43.64 percent for Germany, 124.17 percent to 294.27 percent for the Netherlands, 13.46 percent to 110.84 percent for South Korea, 47.22 percent to 60.12 percent for Taiwan, 96.51 percent to 106.43 percent for Turkey and 110.81 percent for the UK.  The company also seeks the imposition of countervailing (CVD) duties on imports of tin mill products from China, alleging an unspecified total level of subsidies exceeding one percent.

Under US law, a domestic industry can petition the government to initiate an AD investigation to determine whether an imported product is sold in the US at less than fair value (ie, dumped).  A domestic industry may also seek a CVD investigation into alleged subsidization of foreign producers or exporters by a foreign government. AD/CVD duties may be imposed if the DOC determines that imported goods are dumped and/or unfairly subsidized and if the ITC determines that the domestic industry is materially injured or threatened with such injury by reason of the subject imports.

Products covered by the petition

The merchandise covered by the petition is tin mill flat-rolled products that are coated or plated with tin, chromium or chromium oxides.  Flat-rolled steel products coated with tin are known as tinplate. Flat-rolled steel products coated with chromium or chromium oxides are known as tin-free steel or electrolytic chromium-coated steel. The petition covers all the noted tin mill products regardless of thickness, width, form (in coils or cut sheets), coating type (electrolytic or otherwise), edge (trimmed, untrimmed or further processed, such as scroll cut), coating thickness, surface finish, temper, coating metal (tin, chromium or chromium oxide), reduction (single- or double-reduced) and whether or not coated with a plastic material.

All products that meet this description are covered  by the petition unless specifically excluded.  Example of products not covered by the petition can be found here.

The products covered by the petition are provided for under subheadings 7210.11.0000, 7210.12.0000, 7210.50.0000, 7212.10.0000, 7212.50.0000, 7212.50.0020, 7212.50.0090, 7225.99.0090, and 7226.99.0180 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

The total value of US imports of tin mill products from the subject countries was $2.4 billion from January through November of 2022.

Foreign producers and US importers of tin mill products

The petition identifies 29 exporters and 46 US importers of tin mill products from the subject countries.  See the lists of foreign producers and US importers from the petition.

Estimated schedule of the investigations

AD and CVD proceedings are conducted pursuant to a strict statutory time schedule. Below is an estimated schedule for the AD and CVD investigations on tin mill products from the subject countries.

1/18/2023 – Petition filed

3/6/2023 – ITC preliminary injury determination

4/13/2023 – DOC preliminary CVD determination, if not postponed

6/19/2023 – DOC preliminary CVD determination, if fully postponed

6/27/2023 – DOC preliminary AD determinations, if not postponed

8/16/2023 – DOC preliminary AD determinations, if fully postponed

1/5/2024 – DOC final AD and CVD determinations, if both preliminary and final determinations are fully postponed

2/19/2024 – ITC final injury determination, if DOC determinations are fully postponed and DOC final determinations are aligned

2/26/2024 – AD and CVD orders published

Consequences for exporters and US companies

US AD and CVD investigations can result in the imposition of substantial duties in addition to already-applicable duties and tariffs. If the ITC and DOC make affirmative preliminary determinations, US importers will be required to post cash deposits corresponding to the ad valorem AD and/or CVD duty rates determined for the subject merchandise on or after the date on which the DOC’s preliminary determination is published in the Federal Register. In certain circumstances, such duty deposit requirements may retroactively go into effect 90 days prior to the date of publication. The AD and CVD duties will remain in effect if the DOC and ITC make affirmative final determinations.

The DOC calculates specific AD and CVD margins for certain individual foreign producers and exporters selected for examination. Such rates are often much lower than those alleged in the petition. However, foreign producers and exporters that do not participate in the investigations may be subject to substantially higher rates. Duties imposed at these higher rates may force exporters to stop shipping to the US and importers to cease importation of subject merchandise. Thus, interested parties – including US and foreign producers, exporters, importers and downstream US purchasers of the subject merchandise – are encouraged to have a strategy for addressing AD and CVD investigations, including possible participation.

Under the statutory time schedule for AD and CVD investigations, the first decision (ie, the preliminary ITC determination of whether there is a reasonable indication that the US industry is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of the subject imports) must be made within 45 days after the filing of the petition – in this case, by March 6, 2023. An ITC hearing (ie, a public conference) is held around 21 to 23 days after the filing date. As a result, agency staff work, including the issuance of questionnaires to interested parties, begins almost immediately. Thus, quick action is encouraged to understand the specific implications of these developments as well as to prepare and implement a pertinent strategy.

To learn more, please contact any of the authors.