- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Trump administration launched a new antidumping and countervailing duty investigation Wednesday into imported stainless steel flanges from China and India, accelerating get-tough moves against trading partners around the globe.

The investigation focuses on complaints that stainless steel flanges, most common used in the pipeline engineering, are being dumped in the U.S. at bellow-market value and receive unfair subsidies in China and India.

“The Department will act swiftly, while assuring a full and fair assessment of the facts, to ensure that everyone trades on a level playing field,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in announcing the investigations. “The Trump administration will defend American workers and businesses with every tool at our disposal.”

In 2016, imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India were valued at an estimated $16.3 million and $32.1 million, respectively.

President Trump has made cracking down on unfair trade practices since taking office, including repeatedly taking on China, one of the the U.S.’s largest trade partner.

The Commerce Department had opened 62 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations since Mr. Trump took office, an increase of 41 percent from the previous year.

The new investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by the Coalition of American Flange Producers and its individual members: Core Pipe Products, Inc. of Carol Stream, Ill., and Maass Flange Corporation of Houston, Texas,. The estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners range from 99.23 to 257.11 percent and 78.49 percent to 145.25 percent for China and India, respectively.

If the investigation determines that stainless steel flanges from China and India are being dumped into the U.S. market or receiving unfair government subsidies, accompanied by a finding by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that it is causing injury to the American industry, the Commerce Department will impose punitive duties on those imports.

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