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New Trade Case on Imports of Certain Vertical Shaft Engines Between 225cc and 999cc, and Parts Thereof from China

By Courtney G. Taylor / Jan 17, 2020

New U.S. antidumping (“AD”) and Countervailing (“CVD”) petitions were filed on January 15, 2020 by the Coalition of American Vertical Engine Producers against imports of Certain Vertical Shaft Engines Between 225cc and 999cc, and Parts Thereof from China.

The merchandise covered by these investigations consists of spark-ignited, non-road, vertical shaft engines, whether finished or unfinished, whether assembled or unassembled, designed primarily for use in riding lawn mowers and zero-turn radius lawn mowers. Engines meeting this physical description may also be designed for use in other non-hand-held outdoor power equipment.

The petitions include AD (less than fair value) and CVD (unfair subsidy) allegations against China. The Department of Commerce (“DOC”) and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) will conduct the investigations. Within the next 45 days, the ITC will determine if the imports are injuring the U.S. industry. If the ITC finds injury, then the case will move to the DOC which will calculate the preliminary AD and CVD duty margins. The DOC’s preliminary determinations are currently scheduled for April 9, 2020 (CVD) and June 23, 2020 (AD), which are the dates when importers will be required to deposit the calculated duties upon the products’ entry in the U.S. market.

There is a strict statutory deadline associated with this proceeding and affected companies are advised to prepare as soon as possible. If this product is of interest to you, please let us know so that we can provide you with additional information as it becomes available.

The following are key facts about this trade case:

Petitioner: Coalition of American Vertical Engine Producers (the "Coalition" or "Petitioner"). The Coalition is comprised of Kohler Co. and Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

Foreign Producers/Exporters and U.S. Importers:  Please contact us for a listing of individual companies named in the petition.

Alleged AD and CVD margins:  Petitioners have alleged the following AD and CVD margins:

Calculated AD margins ranging from 320.41 percent to 633.64 percent with average margins of 441.825 and a CVD margin above de minimus.

Merchandise covered by the scope of the case:

The merchandise covered by this investigation consists of spark-ignited, non-road, vertical shaft engines, whether finished or unfinished, whether assembled or unassembled, designed primarily for use in riding lawn mowers and zero-turn radius lawn mowers. Engines meeting this physical description may also be designed for use in other non-hand-held outdoor power equipment. The subject engines are spark ignition, single or multiple cylinder, air cooled, internal combustion engines with vertical power take off shafts with a minimum displacement of 225 cubic centimeters (“cc”) and a maximum displacement of 999cc. Typically, engines with displacements of this size generate gross power of between 6.7 kilowatts (“kw”) to 42 kw.

Engines covered by this scope normally must comply with and be certified under Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air pollution controls title 40, chapter I, subchapter U, part 1054 of the Code of Federal Regulations standards for small non-road spark-ignition engines and equipment. Engines that otherwise meet the physical description of the scope but are not certified under 40 CFR part 1054 and are not certified under other parts of subchapter U of the EPA air pollution controls are not excluded from the scope of this proceeding. Engines that may be certified under both 40 CFR part 1054 as well as other parts of subchapter U remain subject to the scope of this proceeding.

For purposes of this investigation, an unfinished engine covers at a minimum a sub-assembly comprised of, but not limited to, the following components: crankcase, crankshaft, camshaft, pistons(s), connecting rod(s), and oil pan. Importation of these components together, whether assembled or unassembled, and whether or not accompanied by additional components such as a manifold, cylinder head(s), valve train, or valve cover(s), constitutes an unfinished engine for purposes of this investigation. The inclusion of other products such as spark plugs fitted into the cylinder head or electrical devices (e.g., ignition modules, ignition coils) for synchronizing with the motor to supply tension current does not remove the product from the scope. The inclusion of any other components not identified as comprising the unfinished engine subassembly in a third-country does not remove the engine from the scope.

The engines subject to this investigation are typically classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheadings: 8407.90.1020, 8407.90.1060, and 8407.90.1080. Engines subject to this investigation may also enter under HTSUS 8407.90.9060 and 8407.90.9080. The engine subassemblies that are subject to this investigation enter under HTSUS 8409.91.5085, and 8409.91.9990. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only, and the written description of the merchandise under investigation is dispositive.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Mark Ludwikowski (mludwikowski@clarkhill.com; 202-640-6680), Kevin Williams (kwilliams@clarkhill.com; 312-985-5907); William Sjoberg (wsjoberg@clarkhill.com; 202-772-0924), Courtney Gayle Taylor (cgtaylor@clarkhill.com; 202-552-2350); or another member of Clark Hill's International Trade Business Unit.