Duties on Chinese Auto Glass OK'd

The United States will begin imposing tariffs on replacement automobile windshields from China next month following a ruling Tuesday by the U.S.

International Trade Commission.

The commission's 3-2 decision for duties came after the Commerce Department ruled last month that seven Chinese companies sold their products to U.S. distributors at below-market value. The duties will range from 3 percent to 124 percent, depending on the company.

The commission is to release an explanation of its decision next month.

Both the commission and the Commerce Department must find that a product is sold at a price below the cost of production or at a lower price than in its home country — an illegal practice known as dumping — before duties can be imposed.

The case against the Chinese companies was filed by PPG Industries Inc. of Pittsburgh, Apogee Enterprises of Minneapolis and Safelite Glass Corp. of Columbus, Ohio.

"The imposition of antidumping duties on these imports will serve to restore a competitive market balance in the U.S.," PPG vice president David Sharick said. "Today's decision confirms what we have said for more than a year — that unfairly priced replacement windshields from China are causing harm to the U.S. automotive replacement glass windshield industry."

The United States imported 649,880 square meters of Chinese replacement windshield glass in 1998 at $26.84 per square meter, according to the Commerce Department. By 2000, the price had dropped to $18.50 and imports more than tripled to 2.4 million square meters.

A typical replacement windshield costs $400 to $500 with installation, according to the Independent Glass Association, a trade group representing 1,600 glass installation shops.

Bruce Mitchell, a lawyer representing Fuyao Glass Industry Group, the largest Chinese windshield manufacturer, said the company may appeal to the World Trade Organization. Fuyao faces a 10 percent tariff on its products.

"If there had been a fair and objective view of the facts we believe we would have won," he said.

Seven American companies produce replacement glass at factories in Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

600450 Duties on Chinese Auto Glass OK'd glassonweb.com

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