Commerce Department Rules Chinese Containers Subject to Tariffs

September 23, 2014

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The U.S. Department of Commerce, in a preliminary finding, has determined that the Chinese government is providing unfair and illegal subsidies to producers and exporters of 53-foot dry van containers.

As a result, Chinese container makers will be subject to a cash deposit requirement for an estimated countervailing duty, or tariff, for imports of 53-foot domestic dry containers from China into the U.S.

The unfair trade investigations of imports from China were conducted in response to a petition filed in April by Stoughton Trailers, the sole U.S. producer of 53-foot domestic dry containers. Stoughton Trailers, headquartered in Stoughton, Wisconsin, alleged in its petition that unfairly traded imports of these containers from China have prevented the company from establishing a competitive footing in the U.S. market.

The cash deposit requirements announced on Tuesday are preliminary. A final determination will be made by the Department of Commerce in the first half of 2015. Between now and then, Commerce Department officials will conduct intensive on-site investigation activities with the Chinese producers.

The Department of Commerce is also investigating whether imports of 53-foot domestic dry containers from China should be subject to an antidumping tariff, as well. That preliminary determination will be announced in late November.

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