US sets duties on steel wheels from mainland


WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday set large punitive duties on imports of steel wheels from China that it said were unfairly priced and subsidized, in the latest sign of trade tension between the world’s two biggest economies. The U.S. Commerce Department said Chinese producers were selling the steel wheels at prices 44.96 percent to 193.54 percent below fair value. It also said Chinese producers had received government subsidies ranging from 25.66 percent to 38.32 percent of the value of the wheels.

The decision was a victory for Accuride Corporation and Hayes Lemmerz International Inc., which filed a pair of petitions last year asking for import relief. The United States imported over US$84.2 million in steel wheels from China in 2011. The Commerce Department set preliminary duties in the case last year. U.S. manufacturers have filed dozens of cases in recent years alleging unfair Chinese trade practices. The department will issue a preliminary duty decision on Tuesday in a high-profile case against solar panels from China, which U.S. manufacturers complain are unfairly priced and subsidized. It will also make final duty decisions on Tuesday in cases involving galvanized steel wire and optical brightening agents made in China. The department will announce on Wednesday whether it has accepted an industry petition asking it to probe if Chinese-made stainless steel sinks are unfairly priced and subsidized.