Importers bringing steel propane cylinders from China into the U.S. will now be required to pay cash deposits to Customs and Border Protection agents.
That policy, announced by the U.S. Commerce Department, underlines a determination that granting subsidies to the producers of such products has allowed them to gain unfair access to U.S. markets.
In a release announcing the decision, the Commerce Department said, “Anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws provide American businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of the unfair pricing of imports into the United States.”
A final determination in the matter is expected to be announced by the Commerce Department in March.
The Commerce order specifically applies to steel propane cylinders ranging in weight from 2.5 to 42 pounds.
Those tanks are commonly used in recreational vehicles and barbeque grills, and provide a source of heating on construction sites during the winter months.
Excluded from the new order are propane cylinders made from stainless steel and seamless steel.
The Commerce Department investigation into the possible dumping of Chinese cylinders came about as a result of complaints from Worthington Industries of Columbus, Ohio, and the Manchester Tank and Equipment Company in Franklin, Tennessee, both of which are U.S. producers of steel propane cylinders.
By Garry Boulard
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