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Under the background of Sino-U.S. trade friction escalation and increasing uncertainties in the future, steel and aluminum products have once again become the “stricken areas” for trade remedy investigations. On April 17, local time, the US Department of Commerce announced that it will import steel from China. Wheel hub products initiated anti-dumping and countervailing (ie "double reverse") investigations.

According to the U.S. trade remedy policy process, the U.S. International Trade Commission will make a preliminary ruling around May 11. If the committee decides that there are indications that the above products imported from China pose a substantial threat or damage to the US related industries, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue the "double reverse" investigation and it is expected that the subsidies and dumping margins will be calculated in June and September respectively. Make a preliminary ruling.

According to data from the US Department of Commerce, in the United States in 2017, the amount of such products imported from China was approximately 388 million U.S. dollars.

Image Source: Vision China

It may be a supplement to the "232 investigation."

The U.S. Department of Commerce stated in a statement that the above investigation was based on complaints filed by two U.S. companies in March. According to the accusations of two U.S. companies, the dumping margin of steel wheel products imported from China in the U.S. market ranged from 12.1% to 231.7%. At the same time, China’s relevant manufacturers and exporters were accused of receiving unfair government subsidies. . The U.S. Department of Commerce stated that it will act quickly to conduct a comprehensive and fair assessment of relevant facts to ensure that American companies and workers have equal opportunities for competition.

At the same time, according to the U.S. trade remedy procedure, another agency, the US International Trade Commission, will sever its preliminary decision on whether steel wheel products imported from China will cause material damage to related US industries around May 11. If the committee makes an affirmative preliminary determination, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue the “double counter” investigation and plans to make preliminary anti-subsidy and anti-dumping decisions on June 20 and September 4 respectively.

When interviewed by the reporter of “Daily Economic News”, Bai Ming, deputy director of the Institute of International Markets of the Ministry of Commerce’s Institute of Research, said that the U.S. move was tantamount to fueling the Sino-U.S. trade friction escalation and was not conducive to Sino-U.S. trade. Mitigation of the relationship. "If the relevant US agencies make a ruling that the Chinese import hub is damaging its domestic industry, the highest import hub may face a tax rate of over 200%."

A number of experts interviewed by the reporter said that the US trade remedy survey for imported steel wheels is likely related to the previous "232 investigation." Bai Ming believes that steel and aluminum belong to raw materials, while wheels are primary products. This move by the United States is a composite attack on the steel and aluminum industries.

On February 16, US local time, the US Department of Commerce announced a national security investigation report on the United States steel and aluminum ("232 survey"), which believes that imported steel and aluminum products seriously damage US domestic industries and threaten US national security. The U.S. Department of Commerce accordingly proposed to President Trump the implementation of import restrictions on imports of steel and aluminum products, such as tariffs and quotas.

On March 1, Trump stated that it will impose a 25% tariff on imported steel, a 10% tariff on imported aluminum products, and the tariff will remain "for a long time." On March 8, Trump signed an announcement confirming that imported steel and aluminum products threaten US national security and decided to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products (ie “232 measures”) starting from March 23.

There are indications that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s move is likely to be a further supplement to the 232 investigation.

On the same day, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ross said in another statement that the preliminary ruling of the U.S. Department of Commerce stated that there was a subsidy behavior for the general aluminum alloy plates imported from China and the subsidy ranged from 31.2% to 113.3%. In view of the preliminary findings of the 17th, the U.S. Department of Commerce will notify the U.S. Customs to impose a corresponding deposit on the general aluminum alloy plates imported from China. The U.S. Department of Commerce plans to finalize the anti-subsidy investigation against these products on August 30. If the U.S. International Trade Commission also makes a positive final decision on October 15, the U.S. will formally impose countervailing duties on these products.

Tried to refer to "Made in China 2025"

Also on April 18, the official website of the Ministry of Commerce of China showed that the Australian Anti-Dumping Committee issued an announcement formally launching an anti-dumping and countervailing investigation against the railway wheels originating in China. The products involved were high hardness steels made of forged steel and rolled steel. 966mm~970mm railway wheels.

During the day, it is rare for China to suffer continuous trade remedy investigations. Wang Guoqing, director of Lange Iron and Steel Research Center, said in an interview with the reporter of the “Daily Economic News” that the phenomenon of “combination” may appear to be a coincidence, but it may also be that the other party has other plans. Prior to the United States intending to impose tariffs on imports from China, China has taken countermeasures in a timely manner.

Wang Guoqing believes that under the background of the escalating trade friction between China and the United States, the United States may continue to adopt various trade protectionism measures to check and balance China. “The steel hub is not only a downstream product of steel, but also an important part of auto parts. This move by the United States may raise the cost of auto exports, which will have a certain impact on auto exports.”

In addition, Wang Guoqing stated that the US “301 Survey” tried to refer to “Made in China 2025”. Although the wheel is a primary product, the car is a high-value-added product and a very fast-growing industry in China. It initiated a trade remedy investigation on the hub. Objectively, it is possible to realize the intention of disguisedly balancing the auto industry.

The reporter of the "Daily Economic News" noted that according to the unilateral findings of the U.S. government on the basis of the "301 investigation," on April 4, China will impose tariff levying measures on 106 commodities such as automobiles originating in the United States. 25%. The implementation date will be announced separately according to the U.S. government's implementation of the customs duties on my goods. Affected by this news, the share prices of some US car companies fell. For example, Tesla's stock price fell by 5.53 US dollars before the end of April 4th, to 262 US dollars, a decrease of 2.07%.

According to data from the US Department of Commerce, the amount of steel wheels imported from China in 2017 was about 388 million U.S. dollars. Judging from the total Sino-U.S. trade, the ratio of steel wheels is not high, but since the wheels are not independent products but are part of the automobile, the US tax on wheels will likely affect other industries such as automobiles.

Why did Australia launch a "double counter" investigation on China's import hub on the same day? Wang Guoqing believes that the factors involved are more complicated and there may be positions in international politics, but it may also be related to the previous US exemption policy on importing steel and aluminum. "Australia is in line with the United States and may be in the hope of further enjoying the United States exemption policy."

According to media reports, on March 23, the United States officially began to impose duties on imported steel and aluminum products. In addition to Canada and Mexico previously announced, the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Korea and other economies are also temporarily exempt.

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