(Adds details on duties, background, byline)
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, May 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday it had determined that Chinese-made mattresses and stainless steel beer kegs were being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value, and that it would impose preliminary anti-dumping duties.
German and Mexican-made stainless steel kegs are also being hit with new duties, the Commerce Department said.
The U.S. government is imposing duties of up to 79.7% on Chinese-made kegs and up to 1,731% on mattresses. Major U.S. mattress firms had petitioned for relief, including Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, Leggett & Platt Inc and Tempur Sealy International Inc. American Keg Co had also sought relief.
The duties are 8.6% for German kegs and 18.5% for Mexican kegs. In 2017, imports of refillable stainless steel kegs from China, Germany and Mexico were valued at an $18.1 million, $11.8 million, and $5.7 million respectively, the department said.
Pennsylvania-based American Keg’s website says that it is the only U.S. manufacturer of stainless steel kegs. But to meet the demand for a variety of keg sizes and styles, it will “continue to source and import kegs from abroad while we grow our domestic keg manufacturing capabilities,” it added.
In 2017, the United States imported $436.5 million in Chinese-made mattresses, the Commerce Department said. The duties cover adult mattresses ranging from twin to California king size and crib or youth mattresses.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting cash deposits from importers of mattresses and beer kegs before final determinations are made by November.
Since the Trump administration took office, the Commerce Department has initiated 168 new anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations, more than twice the number for the comparable period in the previous administration. (Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Richard Chang)