The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday announced its preliminary affirmative determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation against imports of ammonium sulfate from China, signaling that it may pose punitive duties on the products.
The department said that producers and exporters of such products from China had received countervailing subsidies at 206.72 percent.
As a result of the preliminary affirmative determinations, the department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require cash deposits based on these preliminary rates.
It launched antidumping (AD) duty and CVD investigations against imports of such products from China in June 2016, in response to a request from PCI Nitrogen based in Texas, the department said in a statement. It is scheduled to make its both final determinations in January next year, unless the statutory deadline is extended.
Punitive duties would be imposed after both the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) make affirmative final rulings. The USITC is scheduled to make its final determination in February 2017.
Ammonium sulfate is primarily used as a fertilizer and it can also be used in industrial applications, such as in the production of flame retardant materials for food and feed additives. Imports of these products from China were estimated at about 62 million U.S. dollars in 2015, according to U.S. official data.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has kept urging Washington to abide by its commitment against protectionism and help maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.