On May 25th, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) reached an affirmative preliminary determination, finding that the there is a reasonable indication that domestic industry producing tool chests and cabinets have been injured by unfairly traded imports from China and Vietnam. Tool chests and cabinets are metal tool storage units, with two or more drawers, typically used by consumers in homes and garages. As retail products, tool chests and cabinets can generally be purchased at home improvement stores (Lowe’s, Home Depo), department stores (Sears), and other big box retailers (Wal-Mart). Only two companies – Waterloo Industries Inc. (Sedalia, MO) and Metal Box International (Franklin Park, IL) – continue to produce tool chests and cabinets in the United States. Kelley Drye represents petitioner Waterloo Industries in this case.
The petition prepared by Kelley Drye, filed on April 11th, alleged that subject imports – at dumping margins of 58.2 (Vietnam) and 167.5 (China) – were able to penetrate the U.S. market and capture an increasing share of the U.S. market by significantly undercutting U.S. prices. The petition also alleged that as a result of increasing and low-priced imports, the domestic industry has suffered significant declines in production, shipments, prices, and profits. The ITC held a public preliminary conference on May 2nd to hear testimony from domestic industry, foreign producer, and U.S. importer parties in the investigation. Based on witness testimony, post-conference briefs, and the data obtained in the case, the Commissioners reached a unanimous affirmative preliminary injury determination. It will be a couple more weeks until the written views of the Commission on the issues in the case are released to the public.
As a result of the ITC’s affirmative determination, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (“Commerce”) antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, initiated on May 1st, will proceed. The entire investigation will take approximately one year, and will culminate with final dumping margin and subsidy rate determinations at Commerce and the final injury investigation and hearing at the ITC. If the domestic industry prevails, Commerce will issue orders imposing antidumping and/or countervailing duties at the determined rates on imports of tool chests and cabinets from China and Vietnam.