Trade Cases

Coalition voices concern about potential duties on tin mill products

Written by Laura Miller

A coalition of manufacturers, retailers, and stakeholders stands opposed to the imposition of import duties on tin mill products.

Recall that the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) are conducting a trade case investigating the alleged dumping and subsidization of tin mill products from a host of countries. The case was requested by Cleveland-Cliffs and the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

On Nov. 30, a group led by the Consumer Brands Association sent a letter to the two agencies voicing their concerns about how the potential tariffs would hurt US manufacturing and raise consumer prices.

Among the 28 signers of the letter were the Can Manufacturers Institute, the American Coatings Association, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, and the National Foreign Trade Council.

“Domestic tin mill steel producers currently have the capacity to supply only approximately 50% of total US demand,” the letter said. Additionally, “Certain types and widths of steel required by US can manufacturers, including two-piece can steel, are not available in sufficient commercial quantities from domestic suppliers,” the group pointed out.

“Certain types of steel required within the can industry … currently are only sourced through imports,” the letter notes.

“…We believe there is substantial product differentiation and reason for subject imports apart from cost,” it added.

“It is evident that the proposed tariffs would result in serious injury to American consumers and manufacturers in the form of lost jobs and higher prices at the grocery store. We, the makers of America’s favorite household products, urge the ITC and the Department of Commerce to follow the facts and reject this dangerous proposal,” stated David Chavern, president and CEO of Consumer Brands.

In June, a bipartisan group of 36 members of Congress also expressed their concerns over the potential tariffs due to the downstream impact on manufacturers.

Preliminary ITA rulings

The ITA made its initial ruling in the antidumping portion of the case in August. It found that Canada, China, and Germany dumped the subject goods at margins of 5.29-122.52%. It also said the Netherlands, Taiwan, Turkey, and the UK did not dump the product.

In the countervailing duty part of the case, the ITA determined preliminary countervailable subsidy rates of 89.02-542.55% for China.

Laura Miller

Read more from Laura Miller

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