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Friday May 4th, 2018

 

Cambria Files Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions on Chinese Quartz Surfacing Products

A 3,526-page petition from Minnesota-based quartz surfacing producer Cambria filed with the federal government on April 17 alleges that quartz surface products from China are being sold at less than fair value in the U.S. market. It claims that Cambria has suffered losses and the Chinese quartz industry is being unfairly subsidized by the Chinese government through more than 20 programs.
 
The alleged average dumping margin is 455.65 percent. According to the petition this figure was calculated using pricing information from three Chinese companies: Maoshuang Stone Industry 
Co. Ltd., Xiamen King-Stones Industry Co. Ltd. and Xiamen MRD Stone Co. Ltd. Cambria claims that in less than a decade, the value of Chinese imports of quartz products surged from $6 million a year in 2010 to nearly $460 million a year in 2017.
 
Cambria filed the petition using federal guidelines that allow companies producing a certain percentage of a product to request action on the same products made elsewhere that are dumped in the U.S. market. “Cambria is taking this action to ensure the long-term best interests of our industry, American manufacturing, American workers and American business,” said Cambria President and CEO Marty Davis, who also made a sworn statement that Cambria accounts for more than 50 percent of the quartz surfacing produced in the United States. “Unfair trade practices have gone on for far too long. We believe strongly in free trade – to protect it, we must demand fair trade. This is not an effort in protectionism, quite the opposite. Our efforts are to allow for open markets with free and open trade, based squarely on a market economy.”
 
The petition covers quartz surfacing products of all sizes, thicknesses, and shapes, including both prefabricated and slab or sheet goods, and even goods imported already attached to or in conjunction with cabinets, furniture, sinks and vanities. The petition identifies more than 300 Chinese manufacturers of quartz surfacing and more than 500 U.S. importers of their products. If the federal government finds in favor of Cambria’s petition, temporary duties could be imposed as early as September, with final levels set in June 2019. Affected parties are urged to offer input prior to the statutory deadlines and the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) making a determination whether to launch AD/CV duty and injury investigations on the product. The
USITC requires a preliminary determination on investigations and possibly assessing additional duties be completed by June 1. If both federal organizations agree, preliminary duties could be put in place by September of 2018 with final duties set by June of 2019.
 
If high tariffs are imposed on Chinese quartz, the cost of quartz could drastically rise and/or profit margins could slim for U.S. businesses that rely on Chinese quartz slabs, which include both suppliers and fabricators. Quartz surface imports are currently duty-free for virtually every country in the world.
 
On May 1, MS International (MSI) filed an objection to the Cambria petition with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce arguing that Cambria petition should be denied on two grounds. First, MSI claims Cambria did not adequately prove that it meets the threshold required to file the petition regarding the manufacture of domestic quartz. Additionally, MSI's rebuttal claims that because the petition includes prefabricated quartz products that the burden to meet the percentage requirement must also include fabricators of quartz surfacing, and fails to do so.
 
All eyes will be on this issue over the coming weeks and months.  We at ISFA will continue to share updates regarding these proceedings to ensure our membership is well informed and educated regarding impact to the Quartz industry.
 

Article by Kevin Cole, ISFA Communications Director

kevin@isfanow.org

 

 

Thursday June 7, 2018

 

U.S. International Trade Commission Votes to Continue Chinese Quartz Dumping Investigations 

 
On May 31, The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) determined that there is a reasonable indication that the quartz production industry is materially injured by reason of imports of products from China that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.
 
All five commissioners, Chairman Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Vice Chairman David S. Johanson, and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson, Meredith M. Broadbent, and Jason E. Kearns, voted in the affirmative. As a result of the commission’s determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue with its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning imports of this product, with its preliminary countervailing duty determination due on or about July 11 and its preliminary antidumping duty determination due on or about September 24.
 
The USITC initiated antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) investigations on May 7, and made its determination in response to April 17, 2018 petitions filed by Cambria. Cambria’s petitions allege that imports of quartz surface products from China are being unfairly dumped in the United States and that Chinese producers receive unfair subsidies from the Chinese government.  The scope of the case includes quartz surface products from China in both slab form and pre-fabricated form because Cambria and its partners sell slabs and fabricated quartz surface products throughout the United States. The USITC’s preliminary determination is an important step toward duties being imposed.
 
“We are encouraged by the actions taken thus far by both the Department of Commerce and the ITC to stop this unfair trading and restore a level playing field where we can compete fairly in a free market economy,” stated Cambria President and CEO. “The unfairly traded Chinese imports have disrupted healthy competition and threaten to gravely injure the quartz surfaces product industry at all levels of trade in the U.S.”
 
The Commission’s public report Quartz Surface Products from China, Inv. Nos. 701-TA-606 and 731-TA-1416 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 4794) will be available after June 29 and will contain the views of the commission and information developed during the investigations.
 

Article by Kevin Cole, ISFA Communications Director

kevin@isfanow.org