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Wire Decking from China Injuring U.S. Industry, Says ITC in Preliminary Trade Case Decision

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a unanimous finding that there is a reasonable indication of material injury to the U.S. industry producing wire decking caused by unfairly traded imports from China. The Commission’s vote clears the first hurdle to the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of wire decking from China.

Domestic wire decking producers AWP Industries, ITC Manufacturing, J&L Wire Cloth, Nashville Wire Products and Wireway Husky filed a petition on June 5, 2009, alleging that dumped and subsidized imports of wire decking from China were injuring the competing U.S. industry. On June 25, 2009, the Commerce Department initiated both antidumping and countervailing duty investigations against China in response to the petition. Commerce estimated the dumping margins by China ranged from 143 to 316 percent. In addition, Commerce identified over 30 programs as providing potential subsidies to Chinese wire decking producers and exporters.

Information gathered by the International Trade Commission shows that the imports from China captured an increasing share of the U.S. market between 2006 and 2008, with imports achieving their largest market share gains in the first quarter of 2009. These increasing sales of wire decking imported from China were based on import prices that consistently undercut U.S. prices. The low Chinese prices prevented U.S. producers from increasing prices even when costs increased, leading to significant declines in the domestic industry’s financial performance. The domestic industry suffered declines in production, shipments, employment and profitability over the past three years.

Kathleen Cannon of Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP, counsel to the petitioners, stated: “We are pleased with the unanimous decision in the U.S. industry’s favor. The domestic wire decking industry has suffered significant lost sales and plummeting profitability due to dumped and subsidized imports from China. Remedial relief is needed from these unfair trading practices.”

The next step in the trade action will be the issuance of preliminary determinations as to dumping and subsidies by the Commerce Department. The current deadline for the imposition of these preliminary decisions is August 31, 2009, in the countervailing duty case and November 19, 2009, in the antidumping case. If affirmative preliminary decisions are issued by Commerce, importers must begin to post cash deposits or bonds on all future entries of wire decking from China in the amount of the subsidy or dumping margin calculated by Commerce. Thus, as of the end of August, importers of wire decking may be liable for significant duties if Commerce confirms the subsidy allegations by the domestic industry.

Wire decking is produced from carbon or ally steel wire and is used in commercial and industrial storage systems. The open mesh design of wire decking provides a low-weight, high-strength storage platform. The petitioners are AWP Industries, Inc. of Frankfort, Kentucky; ITC Manufacturing, Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona; J&L Wire Cloth LLC of St. Paul, Minnesota; Nashville Wire Products Mfg. Co., Inc., of Nashville, Tennessee; and Wireway/Husky Corp. of Denver, North Carolina. Petitioners are represented in these actions by Kathleen W. Cannon of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

Please contact Kathleen Cannon at 202/342-8590 for comment.

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