US anti-dumping against Chinese tapered roller bearings and their parts

At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2018, the US trade protectionism policy became the target of public criticism. However, the United States seems indifferent to this and even defends trade protectionism. "Protectionism" became a key word at the first public meeting between U.S. Treasury Secretary Nuchin and Commerce Secretary Ross. Ross also claims that a series of other trade actions against China are being prepared, and several reports have been prepared for submission to President Trump, including tariffs on steel and aluminium.

In fact, before that, Zhejiang Zhaofeng Electrical and Mechanical Co., Ltd. (abbreviated as "Zhaofeng Company") had received a notice from the attorney, and the U.S. Department of Commerce had made a final decision on the administrative review of the anti-dumping duty order for tapered roller bearings and their parts exported to China. The ruling applies 92.84% general tax rate to three enterprises including Zhaofeng and other enterprises that have not qualified for separate tax rate. The final ruling will take effect after the official announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Board of Directors of Zhaofeng Company immediately issued the "Announcement on the Final Decision of the Administrative Review of China's Tapered Roller Bearings and Their Parts by the US Department of Commerce" (hereinafter referred to as "Announcement"). The shadow of American trade protectionism once again shrouds our auto parts industry.

Bearings in China are frequently subjected to anti-dumping by the United States

It is understood that China's bearing exports have been subject to U.S. anti-dumping for a long time.

On June 15, 1987, the United States Department of Commerce promulgated the first anti-dumping tax order on tapered roller bearings exported to China.

On July 11, 2000, following the first sunset review, the U.S. Department of Commerce extended the anti-dumping tax order for the first time on products involved in export to China. Following the second sunset review, the U.S. Department of Commerce extended the anti-dumping tax order on products involved in China for the second time in six years. On August 30, 2012, following the third sunset review, the U.S. Department of Commerce extended the anti-dumping tax order on products involved in China for the third time.

On August 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce initiated an administrative review of the anti-dumping duty order for Chinese tapered roller bearings and their parts (the investigation period is from June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016). On October 13, 2016, Zhaofeng Company participated in the administrative review investigation of anti-dumping as a respondent to the enforcement action.

On July 3, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a bulletin launching the fourth sunset review investigation on Chinese tapered roller bearings. Meanwhile, the U.S. International Trade Commission initiated the fourth sunset review of anti-dumping industrial damage investigation on tapered roller bearings in China to examine whether the substantial damage to the domestic industry of the United States would continue or recur if anti-dumping measures were abolished and the imports of the products involved within reasonable expectations.

Yang Liqiang, director and associate researcher of China Foreign Economic and Trade Research Department, Institute of International Economics and Trade, University of Foreign Economics and Trade, told China Automobile News: "The administrative review in 2016 refers to the annual review of the so-called dumping and damage of tapered roller bearings and their parts exported by the United States to China. To determine whether to continue to impose anti-dumping duties."

On November 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the fourth rapid sunset review final ruling on tapered roller bearings and their components exported from China was made: "If the current anti-dumping duty in this case is abolished, the dumping of products involved in China will continue or recur at a rate of 60.25%.

Yang Liqiang pointed out: "The United States frequently carries out anti-dumping investigations on the export of automotive parts such as tapered roller bearings in China. The main reason is that the manufacturers of automotive parts such as tapered roller bearings in the United States try to enhance their competitiveness through this, which is a hidden trade remedy barrier."

Anti-dumping rulings are contrary to facts

Tapered roller bearings are widely used in automobile, construction machinery and agricultural machinery industries.

TIMKEN is recognized as the world leader in tapered roller bearing industry. Its tapered roller bearings are mainly equipped with medium and high grade passenger cars and heavy trucks. Compared with the company's products, China's tapered roller bearing technology and product quality level still has a certain gap.

It is reported that tapered roller bearings in China are mainly used in the maintenance market of middle and low-grade automobiles, construction machinery and agricultural machinery, and there is no direct competition with TIMKEN products in the United States.

In 2012, the amount of bearings exported from China to the United States was $650 million, while the amount of bearings exported from the United States to China was $230 million. Among them, China exported 56.539 million sets of tapered roller bearings to the United States, amounting to 87.183 million U.S. dollars (only a few percent of the U.S. tapered roller bearings market); the United States exported 3.35 million sets of tapered roller bearings to China, amounting to 30.591 million U.S. dollars. The average unit price of import and export of tapered roller bearings reflects that tapered roller bearings exported from China to the United States are small, medium and low-grade bearings, while tapered roller bearings exported from the United States to China belong to high-end bearings, which belong to different markets.

Tapered roller bearings exported from China to the United States have not substantially damaged the interests of TIMKEN in the United States. Therefore, China's automotive bearing industry experts pointed out to the "China Automobile News" reporter: "Since 1986, the U. S. export anti-dumping of tapered roller bearings to China is unfair, contrary to the facts. Gansu Hailin Zhongke Science and Technology Co., Ltd. won the lawsuit in 2002 after many times responding to the lawsuit. The U.S. Department of Commerce permanently revoked its anti-dumping order, which fully confirms this point.