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US slaps duty on US$4.4b of China cabinets amid trade war

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Add US$4.4 billion in imported cabinets to the long list of Chinese goods slapped with US levies in the escalating trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.

[NEW YORK] Add US$4.4 billion in imported cabinets to the long list of Chinese goods slapped with US levies in the escalating trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday it will ask the US Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of the wooden cabinets and vanities from China based on subsidy rates of as much as 229 per cent. Commerce issued a preliminary determination in response to a petition filed earlier this year by the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance, alleging at least US$2 billion in harm from the Chinese shipments.

The petition alleged dumping margins of more than 200 per cent. Tim Brightbill, a trade lawyer from Wiley Rein LLP in Washington representing the industry, said in March that Chinese exporters get double-digit subsidy margins based on the number of programmes supporting their domestic industry, including discounted land, electricity, raw materials, grants, discounted loans and export incentives.

"Today's determination gives the American kitchen cabinet industry the hope it needs in our fight against China's unfair trade practices," Stephen Wellborn, director of product and research development at US manufacturer Wellborn Cabinet and a member of the American alliance, said in an emailed statement.

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The cash deposits will be collected from Henan AiDiJia Furniture Co and Deway International Trade Co, which were found to have got a subsidy of 229 per cent. The Ancientree Cabinet Co will have to pay a subsidy rate of 11 per cent; Dalian Meisen Woodworking Co 16 per cent; Rizhao Foremost Woodwork Manufacturing Co 22 per cent; and 16 per cent for the other Chinese producers not selected for individual review, according to the Commerce statement.

Commerce is scheduled to issue a final determination in December and the US International Trade Commission by Jan. 30, according to the statement.

BLOOMBERG