U.S. Commerce Dept finds Chinese exporters dumped ceramic tile

FILE PHOTO: Aides set up platforms before a group photo with members of U.S. and Chinese trade negotiation delegations at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China February 15, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department said on Thursday it made a preliminary determination that Chinese exporters had dumped ceramic tile in the U.S. market at less than fair value.

In a statement, the department said it imposed duties ranging from 114.49% to 356.02%. The department is scheduled to announce its final determination by March 23, 2020. Imports of ceramic tile from China were valued at an estimated $481.3 million in 2018, it said.

The Commerce Department said it would impose a preliminary anti-dumping duty of 114.49% on Belite Ceramics (Anyang) Co. Ltd; 114.49% on Foshan Sanfi Import & Export Co. Ltd.; and 178.20% or 356.02% on other Chinese exporters.

Glazed ceramic floor and wall tiles from China, which are popular items at major U.S. home-supply chains, including Home Depot (HD.N), Lowe’s (LOW.N) and Floor & Decor (FND.N), are currently subject to a 25% tariff as part of the U.S. Trade Representative’s “Section 301” penalties on China.

In September, the Commerce Department found that imports of ceramic tile from China are unfairly subsidized and it imposed preliminary duties ranging from about 104% to 222%.

The agency opened its anti-subsidy and anti-dumping investigation of Chinese tile imports in May after receiving a petition from a coalition of eight U.S. tile producers claiming injury.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Leslie Adler

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