The US Commerce Department announced on Thursday that it will impose interim unfair competition tariffs on tinplate imports from Canada, Germany, and China, excluding five other countries. This was a decision that brought relief to can makers who feared higher tariffs.
The ministry said the highest provisional anti-dumping duty, at 122.5%, will be levied on imported tinplate from China, including the country’s largest producer, Baoshan Iron and Steel.
The ministry will impose interim tariffs of 7.02% on tinplate imports from German manufacturers, including Thyssenkrupp Tkag.DE, and 5.29% on imports from Canadian manufacturers, including ArcelorMittal Dofasco MT.LU.
The Commerce Department added that there would be no tariffs on tinplate imported from Britain, the Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey. Made of tin-plated steel, the metal is widely used in food cans, paint, aerosol products, and other containers.
A Commerce Department official told reporters that manufacturers in Canada, Germany, and China were found to be selling tinplate at prices below those in their home markets.
China’s tariffs are higher because a major manufacturer’s lack of cooperation in the investigation led to an “unfavorable conclusion,” while other respondents could not prove they were independent of the Chinese government, the official added.
The closely-watched case began in February after a lone US steelmaker, Cleveland-Cliffs CLF.N, filed a petition alleging foreign dumping in the tinplate sector, which had resulted in the closure of several US manufacturing plants in the United States in recent years.
In June, in a separate and parallel investigation, the Ministry of Commerce announced the imposition of provisional anti-subsidy tariffs of 543% on tinplate imports from Baoshan Iron and Steel and 89% on all other Chinese producers.
The other countries named in Thursday’s decision were not the subject of anti-subsidy investigations.
The tariffs are significantly lower than originally feared. In its first petition, Cleveland-Cliffs asked the Department of Commerce to impose anti-dumping duties of 79.6% on imports from Canada, 70.2% on imports from Germany, 111.92% on imports from the United Kingdom, and up to 110.5% to rise in South Korea, 296% in the Netherlands, up to 60% in Taiwan, and up to 97.2% in Turkey.
The five countries that escaped tariffs account for about half of US steel imports. while China accounts for about 14% and Canada and Germany for about 30%, a Commerce Department official said.