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New Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions on Vertical Metal File Cabinets from China

Hirsh Industries (“petitioner”), on April 30, 2019, filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions on imports of vertical metal file cabinets from China.

The U.S. AD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States at less than “normal value.” The U.S. CVD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States with the benefit of foreign government subsidies. For AD/CVD duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping and/or subsidies are occurring, but also that there is “material injury” (or threat thereof) by reason of the dumped and/or subsidized imports. Importers are liable for any potential AD/CVD duties imposed. In addition, these investigations could impact purchasers by increasing prices and/or decreasing supply of vertical metal file cabinets.

Scope

The scope of this investigation covers freestanding vertical metal file cabinets containing extendable file storage elements, having a width of 25 inches or less and having a height that is greater than its width (“vertical metal file cabinets”).

The subject vertical metal file cabinets have bodies made of carbon and/or alloy steel and/or other metals, regardless of whether painted, powder coated, galvanized or otherwise coated for corrosion protection or aesthetic appearance. The subject vertical metal file cabinets must have two to five extendable elements for file storage (e.g., file drawers) of a height that permits hanging files of either letter (8.5” x 11”) or legal (8.5” x 14”) sized documents.

An “extendable element” is defined as a movable load-bearing storage component including, but not limited to, drawers and filing frames. Extendable elements typically have suspension systems, consisting of glide blocks or ball bearing glides, to facilitate opening and closing.

The subject vertical metal file cabinets typically come in models with two, three, four, or five file drawers. The inclusion of an additional non-file-sized extendable storage element, not sized for storage files (e.g., a box or pencil drawer), does not remove an otherwise in-scope product from the scope. The inclusion of an integrated storage area that is 6” or less in height that is not extendable, (i.e., a cubby), also does not remove a subject vertical metal file cabinet from the scope. Accessories packaged with a subject vertical file cabinet, such as separate printer stands or shelf kits that sit on top of the in-scope vertical file cabinet, are not considered integrated storage.

“Freestanding” means the unit has a solid top rather than an open top and is not designed to be attached to, be hung from, or to support a desktop or other work surface. The ability to anchor a vertical file cabinet to a wall for stability or to prevent it from tipping over does not exclude the unit from the scope.

Subject vertical file cabinets may have different handle styles including plastic, metal, recessed or otherwise integrated handles. The addition of mobility elements such as casters or wheels, a dolly or other mobility elements does not remove the product from the scope. Packaging a subject vertical metal file cabinet with other accessories including, but not limited to, locks, leveling glides, caster kits, drawer accessories (e.g., including but not limited to follower wires, follower blocks, file compressors, hanger rails, pencil trays, and hanging file folders), printer stand, shelf kit and magnetic hooks, also does not remove the product from the scope.

Excluded from the scope are vertical file cabinets with bodies made of plastic, wood, or other non-metallic substances.

Also excluded from the scope are lateral file cabinets. Lateral file cabinets typically have a body that is more than 25 inches wide and have a width that is greater than the body depth.

Also excluded from the scope are pedestal file cabinets. Pedestal file cabinets are metal file cabinets with body depths that are greater than or equal to their width, are under 31” in height, and have the following characteristics: (1) an open top or the means for the cabinet to be attached to or hung from a desktop or other work surface (i.e., not freestanding); or (2) freestanding file cabinets that have: (a) at least a 90 percent drawer extension for all extendable storage elements; (b) a central locking system; (c) a minimum weight density of 9.5 lbs./cubic foot; and (d) casters or leveling glides. A “central locking system” locks all drawers in a unit.

Also excluded from the scope are fire-proof or fire-resistant file cabinets that meet Underwriters Laboratories (“UL”) fire protection standard 72, class 350, which covers the test procedures applicable to fire-resistant equipment intended to protect paper records.

The merchandise subject to the investigation is classified under harmonized Tariff System of the United States (“HTSUS”) category 9403.10.0020. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and Customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

Alleged Dumping Margins

The petitioner alleges dumping margins of 120.48 percent to 196.79 percent.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations

  • April 30, 2019 – Petition is filed

  • May 20, 2019 – DOC initiates investigation

  • May 21, 2019 – ITC staff conference

  • June 14, 2019 – Deadline for ITC preliminary injury determinations

  • July 24, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if not postponed

  • September 27, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if fully postponed

  • October 7, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if not postponed

  • November 26, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if fully postponed

  • April 9, 2020 – Deadline for DOC final AD determinations, if both preliminary and final determinations are fully postponed

  • May 25, 2020 – Deadline for ITC final injury determinations, assuming fully postponed DOC deadlines

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About this Author

Douglass Heffner, International trade lawyer, Drinker Biddle
Partner

Douglas J. Heffner litigates customs and international trade matters including antidumping duty, countervailing duty and safeguard cases. He represents foreign companies in Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico, as well as domestic producers in industries that range from high-tech to heavy industry, to consumer and industrial goods. He also represents trade associations, government agencies and embassies in a broad range of matters.

202-230-5802
Richard P Ferrin, International Trade Lawyer, Drinker Biddle
Counsel

Richard P. Ferrin advises clients about international trade regulations, particularly antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at both the administrative and appellate levels. He advocates for his client in global “safeguards” proceedings and on customs matters involving classification issues and country-of-origin determinations. Richard has represented foreign manufacturers, foreign exporters, and U.S. importers in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission, and in judicial review of administrative actions at the U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and North American Free Trade Agreement binational panels. In addition, Richard advises importers on how to minimize antidumping duty liability.

202-230-5803
Jared A. Angle Drinker Biddle Law Firm
International Trade Analyst

Jared A. Angle brings a wealth of experience in international trade policy and compliance issues, including antidumping/countervailing duty investigations, Department of Commerce verifications, and Section 201, 232 and 301 investigations. He provides deep analyses of trade matters for clients, leveraging his strong background in international affairs research and economics. Jared has worked with government agencies such as the U.S. International Trade Commission, Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative, as well as major chemicals and...

(202) 230-5357