Commerce Department Finds China, Germany and Canada Are Dumping Tin Mill Products into U.S. Market 

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Aug 17 2023 |
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A final ruling is set for January 2024.

The Commerce Department on Thursday issued its preliminary findings in an antidumping duty investigation of tin mill products from several foreign countries, concluding that imports from China, Germany and Canada are “are being unfairly priced, i.e., dumped, into the U.S. market.”

Preliminary anti-dumping duties of 122.5% will be placed on imports from China, while much smaller duties will be levied on German and Canadian imports. Chinese companies did not cooperate in the investigation, which led to an “adverse influence” determination, Reuters reported.

A final ruling in the case is scheduled for January 2024.

Unfairly traded tin mill imports threaten American manufacturers and workers, as Dave McCall of the United Steelworkers (USW) wrote this week on Domestic tin mills have been idled as a result, with Cleveland-Cliffs laying off 300 workers at its Weirton, W.Va., tin mill last month “because of the dumped and subsidized tin sheet import crisis,” McCall wrote.

“Adding insult to injury, USW members regularly see tractor-trailers rolling through Weirton with loads of foreign-made tin sheet, bound for can manufacturers that previously sourced the material domestically,” McCall noted.

“Despite the challenges, USW members and steelmakers refuse to let go of this industry,” McCall continued. “It’s simply too important, especially on the heels of a pandemic that underscored the dangers of offshoring manufacturing capacity and relying too heavily on foreign-made goods.”

Indeed, trade enforcement like anti-dumping and countervailing duties play a vital role in upholding free and fair trade by enforcing the rules of international commerce. But some importers and industry groups mounted a public relations campaign against this trade case to “undermine legitimate trade enforcement by distracting the public and policymakers from unfair trade practices of countries from China to even U.S. allies,” our own Scott Paul said. He continued:

“Trade cheating is a threat to workers, the economy, and supply chain security. Other countries’ unfair trade practices are an everyday reality for U.S. manufacturers and their workers and an existential danger to growing factory jobs…

“Today’s announcement is only a preliminary determination by Commerce and important steps remain so Commerce can get the final margins right. It is critical that the fact-based investigation continue and that Commerce conduct a verification process with respect to all eight respondent countries. Commerce should use all tools provided by Congress if countries refuse to provide accurate, verifiable data.”

USW President Tom Conway said in a statement that “dumping into the U.S. market has already cost a significant number of good, community-supporting jobs,” adding that the “preliminary antidumping duties Commerce announced today are a step in the right direction toward stabilizing our market, restoring fair prices and protecting U.S. workers.”

“If we don’t curtail this dumping now, it will eventually choke out our domestic industry, leaving us with no alternative but to rely on foreign goods,” Conway added. “We saw how dangerous that dependence was during the pandemic, and we must be proactive now.”