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US hits China with additional duties on US$4.4 billion in cabinets

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The US trade conflict with China may not have spared the kitchen sink, or even kitchen cabinets, as Washington on Thursday announced another round of steep tariffs.

[WASHINGTON] The US trade conflict with China may not have spared the kitchen sink, or even kitchen cabinets, as Washington on Thursday announced another round of steep tariffs.

About US$4.4 billion of wooden cabinets and vanities imported from China will face additional duties because they are being dumped on the American market at less than fair value, the US Commerce Department said.

Chinese exporters will face tariffs of 28.7 per cent to 251.6 per cent to level the playing field, the Commerce Department said in its preliminary decision.

The imported cabinets already faced tariffs on Aug 8 after the Commerce Department determined the Chinese manufacturers received government subsidies.

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The latest announcement is one in series of cases that the Commerce Department has pursued against many product lines, usually at the request of American companies claiming to be hurt by imports from China or other trading partners.

But it is separate from the broader trade dispute in which US President Donald Trump plans to impose tough taxes on nearly all imports from China.

Based on the dumping rates, US customs agents will begin collecting duties from importers on the cabinets.

However, the funds would be returned if the department reverses its decision or if the independent US International Trade Commission finds the subsidies did not harm US industry.

The cabinet case was launched in March by a trade group called the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance, and impacts companies including Dalian Meisen Woodworking, Ancientree Cabinet and Rizhao Foremost Woodwork Manufacturing.

AFP