Antidumping duties imposed on propane cylinder imports

August 6, 2019 By    

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that imports of steel propane cylinders from China and Thailand are being traded at less than fair value and causing injury to the domestic industry.

propane cylinders. Photo: iStock.com/Joe_Potato

Underpriced imports of steel propane cylinders from China and Thailand have squeezed U.S. producers’ sales and profits. Photo: iStock.com/Joe_Potato

The ITC’s vote was unanimous, with four members voting in the affirmative and one member recused.

This determination was the final step in the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations filed on May 22, 2018, by Columbus, Ohio-based Worthington Industries Inc. and Franklin, Tennessee-based Manchester Tank & Equipment. The ITC’s decision follows the June 17, 2019, determination by the U.S. Department of Commerce that imports of steel propane cylinders from China and Thailand were dumped and that the Government of China subsidized Chinese imports.

Imports from China and Thailand surged into the U.S. market in recent years, displacing U.S. producers’ sales and market share. The domestic industry stated that this surge was driven by low import pricing that caused U.S. producers to suffer reduced prices and profits.

“This determination will lay the foundation for restoring fair pricing to the marketplace,” says Paul Rosenthal, counsel to the U.S. producers.

As a result of the ITC’s vote, the Department of Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require U.S. importers of steel propane cylinders from China and Thailand to deposit estimated antidumping duties at the time of importation.

Imports from China will be subject to duties ranging from 37 to 217 percent, whereas imports from Thailand will be subject to a 10.77 percent duty. If the foreign producers continue to dump, these duties could increase in subsequent years.

In the meantime, the two domestic producers announced their intention to appeal the Commerce Department’s antidumping duty determination for Thailand with the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York. The U.S. producers contend that the Commerce Department made errors that resulted in a significantly understated margin of dumping by Thai producer Sahamitr Pressure Container PLC.

“The Commerce Department made several errors in its analysis of the final dumping margin for Sahamitr,” says Rosenthal. “We intend to appeal Commerce’s final determination. We are confident that a court order for Commerce to reevaluate its analysis will result in a significantly higher antidumping duty deposit rate on imports of steel propane cylinders from Thailand.”

The steel cylinders subject to the investigation carry compressed or liquefied propane or other gases and meet the requirements of, or were produced to meet the requirements of, U.S. Department of Transportation Specifications 4B, 4BA or 4BW within the size range of 2.5-pound to 42-pound nominal gas capacity. These propane cylinders are commonly used to transport, store and dispense gas to recreational vehicles, outdoor barbecue grills, fire pits and heat lamps.

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