16135166_lUSA: The US Department of Commerce has announced preliminary subsidy rates of up to 28% on Chinese imports of R134a refrigerant.

In its preliminary determination in the countervailing duty investigation initiated by Mexichem, the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration said it preliminarily found that imports of R134a from China have benefited from government subsidies that could be offset by countervailing duties.

The Commerce Department calculated a preliminary subsidy rate of 28.74% for TT International Co Ltd and 4.04% for JUHUA (including Zhejiang Quhua Fluor-Chemistry Co Ltd and other Juhua stock companies). Additionally, a preliminary subsidy rate of 1.35% was calculated for Jiangsu Bluestar Green Technology Co Ltd, a voluntary respondent. All other producers/exporters in China have been assigned a preliminary subsidy rate of 16.39%.

The department said it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require cash deposits based on the preliminary rates.

In petition’s filed by Mexichem in October 2013, the refrigerant manufacturer claimed that China had increased production capacity of R134a by 80% in the last three years, driven by Chinese government subsidies.

In 2013, imports of R134a from China were valued at an estimated $34.7m.

The Department of Commerce is scheduled to announce its final determination in this investigation on or about August 5, unless the statutory deadline is extended.

If the final determination is affirmative and the US International Trade Commission also makes an affirmative final determination that imports of R134a from China materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the USA industry, Commerce will issue a CVD order. If either of the final determinations is negative, no CVD order will be issued. The ITC is scheduled to make its final injury determination approximately 45 days after Commerce issues its final determination, if affirmative.

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