USDOC Responds Affirmatively in Quartz Countervailing Investigation

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced that Chinese quartz surfaces should be subject to countervailing duties (CVD), and those duties range from 34.38 percent to 178.45 percent.

Last April, Cambria filed an initial petition for countervailing and antidumping duties on quartz surfaces, finished and unfinished, imported from China. The laws concerning CVD are transparent, semi-judicial and internationally recognized, and they help U.S. businesses to seek relief from the effects of unfairly subsidized imports. This provides a level playing field on which businesses can fairly compete in the marketplace.

The preliminary CVD rate is set at 34.38 percent for most importers, including Foshan Yixin Stone Co. Ltd., but run as high as 178.45 percent for importers such as Foshan Hero Stone Co. Ltd. U.S. customs officials have been instructed to collect cash deposits from quartz exporters in China based on these rates.

The quartz surfaces the CVD covers include slabs that are primarily made of silica in a resin binder with other admixtures, such as pigment and cement. However, the silica content must be greater than any other single material by weight with no regard as to the size and dimensions of the slab. In other words, duties will be levied on all quartz products, even if they do not fit the specifications of standard slabs.

The CVD does not only cover unfinished slabs but also finished, packaged or pre-fabricated slabs that have been cut, polished, cured, edged, thermoformed or attached to another product. Quarried stone and crushed-glass surfaces where glass is the primary material are not affected by the CVD.

The next step in this process is for the DOC to make a final determination, which is scheduled for January 28, 2019. If this decision is also affirmative, it moves to the hands of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for a final injury determination. If the final decision by the DOC is negative or the injury determination by the ITC is negative, the investigation will immediately end with no CVD order being issued.

At this moment, it appears that imported quartz slabs will face duties, which will raise the wholesale and retail prices. For more information, visit the DOC website or download the DOC Fact Sheet.