Published November 20, the department of commerce made a preliminary determination that certain quartz surface products from China are being sold in the United States at less than fair value, or dumped, and preliminary duties range from a minimum of 242.1 percent on Suzhou Colorquartzstone New Material Co., Ltd. and Shanhai Meiyang Stone Co. Ltd., CQ International Ltd. to a maximum of 341.29 percent for “China-Wide” entities.
The new tariff is the second such fee placed on Chinese quartz imports after Cambria, a Minnesota-based manufacturer, filed a petition in April.
Assuming they stand with preliminary numbers, the final duty for this segment of the tariffs could be imposed as early as May of 2019.
Furthermore, these anti-dumping duties will be retroactively levied against any quartz from China that arrived up to 90 days before the Register publication if they are unliquidated. That means products arriving as far back as August could be hit by these fees, depending on the sales cycle, which can run as long as 300 days after the goods are imported.
These fees are in addition to preliminary countervailing duties that were also found to be warranted on September 21, with most Chinese quartz surfaces facing a 34.38 percent tariff, but a couple (namely Fasa Industrial Corp. Ltd. and Foshan Hero Stone Col. Ltd.) were pegged at a subsidy rate of 178.45 percent.
These countervailing duties must be affirmed by January 19.
Additionally, the Trump administration initiated a 10 percent 301 Tariff against quartz surfacing (along with several other related products, machinery and equipment) which are set to rise to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.
So, if the anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties and tariffs all stand as preliminarily set, as early as May, the effective fee rate increases will range from a minimum of 301.48 percent to a maximum of more than 500 percent.
While no one is quite sure exactly how this will affect the American market for quartz surfacing, one research expert at Freedonia Research believes increased costs could very well curb the demand for the material. Other manufacturing companies have said they believe this could also lead to shortages in material.
Certainly demand is likely to increase for those companies manufacturing or importing quartz in countries other than China, although in the long run other lower labor cost markets, such as India or Vietnam, may have an opportunity to ramp up production and bring in lower-cost alternatives. However, it is likely to take awhile for capacity in those areas can be ramped up to meet demand.
Several fabricators we have spoken with have suggested that consumers, designers and architects may be driven to alternative products, such as granite, solid surface or emerging product categories, such as sintered compact surfaces.
Time will tell how this all plays out, but for now there are plenty of opinions ranging across the spectrum.
You may also be interested in these articles on the lead up to these duties/tariffs – preliminary article on Chinese quartz duties/tariffs; secondary article on Chinese quartz duties/tariffs; third article on Chinese quartz duties/tariffs.
We would love to hear your opinions and feedback on this subject. You can post in the comment section here or email us at [email protected].