WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Commerce Department said on Thursday it had determined that tool chests and cabinets made in China and Vietnam were being dumped in the U.S. market, and announced prospective import duties on the products ranging up to 327 percent.
The action puts the ball in the court of the U.S. International Trade Commission.
If it makes a final determination that U.S. producers have been injured by the imports, the duties would be imposed for an initial five-year period.
In a related case, the ITC found in January that U.S. manufacturers were being harmed by imports of tool chests from China that the Commerce Department had found were subsidized, locking in place countervailing duties.
In its announcement on Thursday, the department said tool chests manufactured by the Tongrun Single Entity in China would face antidumping duties of 97 percent, while imports from other Chinese producers would be hit with duties of 244 percent, if the ITC makes a final finding of harm.
Imports from Vietnam would face a duty of 327 percent, it said.
The case was brought by Waterloo Industries Inc of Sedalia, Missouri, a subsidiary of Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc, which says it accounts for more than half of domestic production of tool chests and cabinets.
In 2016, the value of imports of tool chests and cabinets from China totaled $230 million, while imports from Vietnam were valued at $77 million, Commerce Department data shows.