Chinese Quartz ITC Update

Updated June, 13th 2018

To our Valued Customers:

If you haven’t heard the news yet, please be advised of the following: (Our response below)

Article from Stoneupdate.com (June, 1st 2018)

WASHINGTON – Imports of Chinese quartz-surface products will be subject to punitive duties later this year as part of a federal panel’s decision on unfair international-trade practices.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) voted 5-0 yesterday that U.S.-based manufacturers of quartz-surface products are “materially injured” by products from China “that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.”

The U.S. Commerce Department, after official notification today from the USITC, will continue investigations, with decisions on import-duty amounts in July and September.

The USITC decision comes after an April complaint filed by U.S. quartz-surface manufacturer Cambria Company LLC that claimed below-market sales of Chinese-made material made possible by subsidies by various government agencies and programs in China.

In addition to slabs, the scope of these investigations includes, but is not limited to, other surfaces such as countertops, backsplashes, vanity tops, bar tops, work tops, tabletops, flooring, wall facing, shower surrounds, fire place surrounds, mantels, and tiles. Quartz surface products are covered by these investigations whether or not polished, cut, fabricated, cured, edged, finished, thermalformed, packaged, and regardless of the type of surface finish.

The Commerce Department will now determine two separate duties. Investigation of the first – countervailing (or anti-subsidy) duties – has a tentative July 11 deadline. The second “antidumping” duty should be determined by Sept. 24.

The USITC’s full report on the action — Quartz Surface Products from China, Inv. Nos. 701-TA-606 and 731-TA-1416 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 4794 — will be available to the public after June 29.

The USITC decision is not part of the ongoing tariff and duty actions on Chinese goods initiated by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under the Trump administration.

Our research has alerted us that there is a possibility of any duties imposed being retroactive for an unspecified time.

The position we are taking is as follows:

We will continue to source Chinese quartz products but the risk of the duty expense is not built into our margin. If our customers agree to bear this financial risk we will produce their orders.

Our domestic plant capacity was increased 600% over the last year in anticipation of this potential protectionist risk.  We will be able to re-price your projects with domestic fabrication of brand name quartz slabs (Caesarstone, L.G., Silestone, Hanstone, Wilsonart – as we are certified fabricators for all of these brands). In addition, we have alternate international vendors who produce quartz on a Breton Line and are capable of fabrication.

Please let our team know if you should have any questions.

 

Neil Aberman