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New Trade Case on Imports of Vertical Metal File Cabinets from the People’s Republic of China

New U.S. antidumping (“AD”) and countervailing (“CVD”) duty petitions were filed on April 30, 2019 by Hirsh Industries, LLC (“Petitioner”) against imports of vertical metal file cabinets from the People’s Republic of China.

The merchandise subject to these investigations consists of vertical metal file cabinets containing extendable file storage elements, having a width of 25 inches or less and having a height that is greater than its width ("vertical metal file cabinets"). The vertical metal file cabinets have bodies made of carbon and/or alloy steel and or other metals, regardless of whether painted, powder coated, galvanized or otherwise coated for corrosion protection or aesthetic appearance. The full scope of the merchandise covered is set forth below.

The petition includes AD (less than fair value) and CVD (unfair subsidy) allegations against the People’s Republic of 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 July 24, 2019 (CVD) and October 7, 2019 (AD), which are the dates when importers will be charged the calculated duties upon the products’ entry in the U.S. market.

There are strict statutory deadlines associated with these proceedings 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: Hirsh Industries, LLC.

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

Alleged AD and CVD margins:  Petitioner has alleged the following AD margins:

  • People’s Republic of China –   AD margins ranging from 120.48% to 196.79%. 

The petition has also alleged CVD margins for China above de minimis.

Merchandise covered by the scope of the case:

The merchandise covered by this investigation, the subject vertical metal file cabinets, must have two to five extendable elements for file storage (e.g., file drawers) of a height that permits hanging files of either letter (8.5" x 11") or legal (8.5" x 14"). An "extendable element" is defined as a movable load-bearing storage component including, but not limited to, drawers and filing frames. Extendable elements typically have suspension systems, consisting of glide blocks or ball bearing glides, to facilitate opening and closing.

The subject vertical metal file cabinets typically come in models with two, three, four, or five-file drawers. The inclusion of an additional non-file-sized extendable storage element, not sized for storage files (e.g., a box or pencil drawer), does not remove an otherwise in-scope product from the scope. The inclusion of an integrated storage area that is 6" or less in height that is not extendable, (i.e., a cubby), also does not remove a subject vertical metal file cabinet from the scope. Accessories packaged with a subject vertical file cabinet, such as separate printer stands or shelf kits that sit on top of the in-scope vertical file cabinet are not considered integrated storage.

"Freestanding" means the unit has a solid top rather than an open top and is not designed to be attached to, be hung from or to support a desktop or other work surface. The ability to anchor a vertical file cabinet to a wall for stability or to prevent it from tipping over does not exclude the unit from the scope.

Subject vertical file cabinets may have different handle styles including plastic, metal, recessed or otherwise integrated handles. The addition of mobility elements such as casters or wheels, a dolly or other mobility elements does not remove the product from the scope. Packaging a subject vertical metal file cabinet with other accessories, including, but not limited to, locks, leveling glides, caster kits, drawer accessories (e.g., including but not limited to follower wires, follower blocks, file compressors, hanger rails, pencil trays, and hanging file. folders), printer stand, shelf kit and magnetic hooks, also does not remove the product from the scope.

Excluded from the scope are vertical file cabinets with bodies made of plastic, wood, or other non-metallic substances.

Also excluded from the scope are lateral file cabinets. Lateral file cabinets typically have a body that is more than 25 inches wide and have a width that is greater than the body depth. Also excluded from the scope are pedestal file cabinets. Pedestal file cabinets are metal file cabinets with body depths that are greater than or equal to their width, are under 31" in height, and have the following characteristics: (1) an open top or the means for the cabinet to be attached to or hung from a desktop or other work surface (i.e., not freestanding); or (2) freestanding file cabinets that have: (a) at least a 90 percent drawer extension for all extendable storage elements; (b) a central locking system; (c) a minimum weight density of 9.5 lbs/cubic foot; and (d) casters or leveling glides. A "central locking system" locks all drawers in a unit.

Also excluded from the scope are fire proof or fire resistant file cabinets that meet Underwriters Laboratories fire protection standard 72, class 350, which covers the test procedures applicable to fire-resistant equipment intend to protect paper records. The merchandise subject to the investigation is classified under harmonized Tariff System of the United States ("HTSUS") category 9403.10.0020.  

While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of these investigations 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) or another member of Clark Hill's International Trade Business Unit.