The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday set preliminary subsidy rates on imported steel wire rod from China, signaling that it may impose punitive duties on the products.
The department made its preliminary affirmative determination that Chinese producers and exporters of carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod received countervailing subsidy rates ranging from 10.3 percent to 81.36 percent.
Punitive duties would be imposed after both the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) made affirmative final rulings, which are scheduled on Nov. 12 and Dec. 27, respectively. If the ITC makes a negative determination, the investigations will be terminated.
The investigations are in response to the petition filed by ArcelorMittal USA based in the state of Illinois and five other U. S. companies, which alleged that these products from China were sold below the fair value of the products in the U.S. market, while Chinese producers and exporters also received improper government subsidies.
Imports of these products from China were estimated at 313 million U.S. dollars last year, according to U.S. official data.
China's Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged the United States to abide by its commitment against protectionism and work with China to maintain a free, open and just trade environment.