ITC Rules Against Accuride on Chinese Steel Wheel Imports

April 18, 2012

The U.S. International Trade Commission has turned down a request from makers of U.S. steel wheels to impose punitive import duties on steel wheels from China, despite earlier findings from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that the Chinese producers were selling the wheels far below fair value.

Accuride believes steel wheels from China are subsidized by the government and mean unfair competition with its own wheels.

Accuride Corp. and Maxion Wheels originally submitted a petition to the ITC to investigate whether the domestic commercial vehicle steel wheel production industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by subsidized and less-than-fair-value imports of certain steel wheels from China.

In March 2011, the ITC issued a favorable preliminary ruling, with two commissioners ruling that the domestic industry was injured, two ruling that the domestic industry was threatened with injury, and two saying there was no injury.

The Department of Commerce at that time also announced its final determinations into the investigations, and established countervailing duty (trade import duties under the World Trade Organization) and antidumping duty (dumping is any kind of predatory pricing) rates. The Commerce Department said Chinese producers were selling the steel wheels at 45% to 194% below fair value and that the Chinese wheel makers had received government subsidies ranging from 25 to 38% of the value of the wheels.

Nevertheless, the ITC made a final determination that the domestic United States commercial vehicle steel wheel industry was not injured or threatened with injury by the subject imports.

The co-petitioners will review the written decision after it is issued in May and determine whether an appeal is appropriate.

If the ITC had made an affirmative final determination, the U.S. Department of Commerce would have issued countervailing duty and antidumping duty orders ranging from 70% to 228% on certain steel wheels for commercial vehicles (18 inches to 24.5 inches in diameter) imported from the China. The orders would have been in place for at least the next five years.