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U.S. Commerce probes alleged dumping of Chinese trailer chassis and sub-assemblies

U.S. and Chinese flags are seen before Defense Secretary James Mattis welcomes Chinese Minister of National Defense Gen. Wei Fenghe to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday said it had initiated an investigation into alleged dumping of Chinese-built chassis and sub-assemblies for trailers and truck semi-trailers into the U.S. market, and whether Chinese producers were receiving unfair subsidies.

The investigation could result in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Chinese imports facing anti-dumping and countervailing duties.

In a statement, Commerce said it was seeking anti-dumping duties of 188.05% on the imported Chinese trailer assemblies. Commerce said it would investigate 30 Chinese subsidy programs, including grant programs, tax programs, and government loans.

The petition was brought by Coalition of American Chassis Manufacturers, whose members are Cheetah Chassis Corp, Hercules Enterprises LLC, Pitts Enterprises Inc, Pratt Industries, Inc. and Stoughton Trailers LLC.

The companies estimated $250 million worth of Chinese chassis and sub assemblies were imported into the United States in 2018. U.S. Census Bureau data show 2019 imports of $460 million worth of these product categories.

Truck semi-trailer chassis are widely used to haul intermodal shipping containers.

If the probe is allowed by the U.S. International Trade Commission to continue in a vote scheduled for Sept. 14, the Commerce Department said it expects to issue preliminary anti-subsidy determinations on Oct. 23, and anti-dumping determinations on Jan. 6, 2021.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chris Reese and Daniel Wallis

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