US to continue probes into stainless steel sinks from China

Updated: 2012-04-14 10:27


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WASHINGTON - A US federal trade panel determined Friday the US industry was "materially injured" by importing stainless steel sinks from China amid concerns that such action would further fuel the country's protectionist sentiment.

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) voted unanimously in the affirmative in the case, which was petitioned by Elkay Manufacturing Company based in Illinois.

Although there were only six US producers in this industry in 2011, the commission believed there was "a reasonable indication" that the industry was threatened with material injury by imports of stainless steel sinks from China that were allegedly sold on the US market at a less than fair value and subsidized by the Chinese government.

The USITC's move would allow the US Department of Commerce to continue its investigations on imports of these products. The preliminary countervailing duty (CVD) determination is due around May 25, 2012, while the anti-dumping (AD) one is due around August 6, 2012.

These investigations, started on March 22 by the Commerce, intend to impose anti-dumping duty ranging from 22. 81 percent to 76.53 percent and countervailing duty at above 2 percent.

The United States consumed about 303.9 million dollars of stainless steel sinks in 2011, among which nearly 119.1 million U. S. dollars of products were from China, according to the USITC.

Trade tensions with China are a particularly sensitive issue as the United States is trying to boost its exports to revitalize a flagging economy and slash the unemployment rate in the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown and subsequent global economic recession that have hurt the US economy badly and sparked a new wave of protectionism.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged the United States to abide by its commitment against protectionism and work together with China and other members of the international community to maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.