Initiation of AD & CVD Investigations of Ceramic Tile Imports from China
On May 1, the Department of Commerce announced the initiation of antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of ceramic tile imports from China.
For AD investigations, dumping occurs when a foreign company sells product in the United States at less than its fair market value. For CVD investigations, a countervailable subsidy is financial assistance from a foreign government that benefits the production of goods from foreign companies and results in an unfair advantage in the US market. U.S.
AD and CVD laws provide U.S. businesses and workers with a transparent and internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the market-distorting effects caused by injurious dumping and unfair subsidization of imports into the United States. In other words, these laws help to establish an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.
The merchandise covered by these investigations include ceramic floor tile, wall tile, paving tile, hearth tile, porcelain tile, mosaic tile, flags, finishing tile, and the like (hereinafter “ceramic tile”). Ceramic tiles are articles containing a mixture of minerals including clay (generally hydrous silicates of alumina or magnesium) that are fired so the raw materials are fused to produce a finished good that is less than 3.2 cm in actual thickness. All ceramic tile is subject to the scope regardless of end use, surface area, and weight, regardless of whether the tile is glazed or unglazed, regardless of the water absorption coefficient by weight, regardless of the extent of vitrification, and regardless of whether or not the tile is on a backing. Subject merchandise includes ceramic tile with decorative features that may in spots exceed 3.2 cm in thickness and includes ceramic tile “slabs” or “panels” (tiles that are larger than 1 meter2 (11 ft.2)).
Subject merchandise is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under the following subheadings of heading 6907: 6901.21.1005, 6907.21.1011, 6907.21.1051, 6907.21.2000, 6907.21.3000, 6907.21.4000, 6907.21.9011, 6907.21.9051, 6907.22.1005, 6907.22.1011, 6907.22.1051, 6907.22.2000, 6907.22.3000, 6907.22.4000, 6907.22.9011, 6907.22.9051, 6907.23.1005, 6907.23.1011, 6907.23.1051, 6907.23.2000, 6907.23.3000, 6907.23.4000, 6907.23.9011, 6907.23.9051, 6907.30.1005, 6907.30.1011, 6907.30.1051, 6907.30.2000, 6907.30.3000, 6907.30.4000, 6907.30.9011, 6907.30.9051, 6907.40.1005, 6907.40.1011, 6907.40.1051, 6907.40.2000, 6907.40.3000, 6907.40.4000, 6907.40.9011, and 6907.40.9051. Subject merchandise may also enter under subheadings of headings 6914 and 6905: 6914.10.8000, 6914.90.8000, 6905.10.0000, and 6905.90.0050. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of these investigations is dispositive.
Next steps include the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) making its preliminary injury determinations on or before May 28, 2019. If the ITC’s preliminary determination determines that there is a reasonable indication that imports of ceramic tile from China materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry in the United States, the investigations will continue, and Commerce will be scheduled to announce its preliminary CVD determination on July 8, 2019, and its preliminary AD determination on September 18, 2019 (although these dates may be extended). If the ITC’s determinations are negative, the investigations will be terminated.