The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday that it has set preliminary subsidy rates on imports of tool chests and cabinets from China, moving one step closer to impose punitive duties on the products.
The department made its affirmative preliminary determination that exporters of tool chests and cabinets from China received countervailable subsidies ranging from 17.32 percent to 32.07 percent, the department said in a statement.
Punitive duties would be imposed if both the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) make affirmative final rulings, which are scheduled for Nov. 22, 2017 and Jan. 6, 2018, respectively. If the ITC makes a negative determination, the investigations will be terminated.
Last year, imports of these products from China were estimated at about 989.9 million U.S. dollars, according to the Commerce Department.
The Trump administration has initiated 62 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations so far this year, up 41 percent year on year. It shows that the administration has increasingly resorted to protectionist measures to protect domestic industries against foreign competition.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has kept urging Washington to abide by its commitment against protectionism and help maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.