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United States imposes tariffs of up to 44.35% on Chinese-made steel products

A worker signals to pour the molten steel into the furnace at a steel factory in Anshan in northeast China's Liaoning province in 2007. The United States is imposing more tariffs on Chinese-made steel products.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is looking to impose tariffs of 38.27% to 44.35% percent on more steel products from China.

The federal agency issued a preliminary determination that China has been dumping steel wheels of 12 inches to 16.5 inches in the United States. Imports of Chinese steel wheels in the United States totaled $87.2 million in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.

The U.S. International Trade Commission will make a final determination on whether the imports have hurt American industry by Aug. 15, but the U.S. Department of Commerce's preliminary ruling Tuesday instructs U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to start collecting cash deposits of up to 44.35% on Chinese steel wheel imports at U.S. ports of entry.

The U.S. Department of Commerce currently maintains 473 antidumping and countervailing duty orders on various foreign-made products deemed to have been traded unfairly, whether subsidized in violation of U.S. trade laws or sold at a deliberate loss with an eye toward gaining long-term market share. Roughly half of those tariffs were slapped on various steel products, including many from China, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary.

During the current administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce has launched 157 new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, which are often initiated by the United Steelworkers union and companies that cry foul at foreign competitors.

In such cases, the federal government can issue countervailing tariffs that counter government subsidies like tax breaks or equity infusions, or antidumping tariffs that are applied to products sold below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets.

On top of the hundreds of existing tariffs on individual steel products from foreign steelmakers, the administration has also slapped across-the-board tariffs of 25% on all foreign-made steel.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.