Ceramic Tile, Quartz Import Investigations Enter Final Phase
WASHINGTON, DC — A pair of antidumping and countervailing duty investigations involving imports of ceramic tile and quartz surfacing products are currently in their final phase, with government decisions in the months-long probes scheduled to be rendered within weeks.
Final injury determinations in unfair-trade cases involving ceramic tile imports from China and quartz surface products from India and Turkey are expected to be announced shortly by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), in the wake of Commerce Dept. findings that exporters from the countries in question have been selling the contested imports at less-than-fair market value in the U.S.
To address concerns related to COVID-19, the ITC announced that hearings scheduled for last month would not be conducted in-person, as per the usual procedure. Trade officials, instead, said they were gathering the requisite testimony on paper for final decisions expected no later than this month.
The Commerce Dept. has already announced an affirmative preliminary determination in its antidumping duty investigation of ceramic tile imports from China, finding that Chinese exporters have “dumped” ceramic tile in the U.S. at unfair prices. As a result of that decision, trade officials instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from Chinese ceramic tile importers based on preliminary rates ranging from 114.49% to 356.02%.
The Commerce Dept. also announced a determination in the antidumping duty investigations of quartz surface imports from India and Turkey, finding that exporters from those countries sold the imports at less than fair value in the U.S. As a result of that decision, trade officials instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of quartz surface products based on preliminary rates of up to 5.05% from India and up to 4.88% from Turkey.
The Commerce Dept. action in the ceramic tile case was the result of an unfair-trade petition filed last year by the “Coalition for Fair Trade in Ceramic Tile,” an alliance of manufacturers that includes American Wonder Porcelain, Crossville, Inc., Dal-Tile Corp., Del Conca USA, Florida Tile, Florim USA, Landmark Ceramics and StonePeak Ceramics.
Investigations into quartz surface imports from India and Turkey were initiated last year as a result of an unfair-trade petition filed by Cambria Company, the Le Sueur, MN-based supplier of engineered quartz surface products. Cambria has also battled successfully against quartz imports from China.
The pair of unfair-trade investigations mirror a similar government probe involving Chinese imports of wooden cabinets and vanities. In that recently resolved landmark case, the ITC ruled unanimously that the U.S. cabinet industry has been “materially injured” by Chinese imports of wooden cabinets and vanities – a ruling that affirmed a Commerce Dept. finding that the imports were being subsidized and sold in the U.S. at less-than-fair market value, and paved the way for trade officials to impose stiff antidumping and countervailing duty orders on the imports.