Additional duties of 43 to 289 percent on imports of more than $300 million worth of wire decking from China were imposed on Tuesday by the US Commerce Department on grounds that the product is being sold at unfairly low prices. Wire decking products are mainly used in industrial and other commercial storage rack systems.
Two US manufacturers - AWP Industries of Kentucky and J&L Wire Cloth of Minnesota, along with three other firms had asked for duties last year after imports from China surged to $317 million in 2008 from almost $213 million in 2006. It was also one of the 12 trade complaints filed by US businesses against Chinese importers last year.
The final decision on wire decking duties is likely to be announced later this year. Chinese companies will have to deposit the duties while the case is pending, the US Commerce Department said.
The US decision to slap additional duties on wire decking products from China is likely to hit domestic manufacturers hard, forcing them look for greener pastures in other overseas markets, said industry sources.
Ever since US President Barack Obama cleared the duties on tire imports from China, more and more companies are facing the heat in the American markets. The most recent case involved Chinese steel pipes used by the US oil industry, estimated at around $2.8 billion.