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UPDATE 1-U.S. opens probe into tool chest imports from China, Vietnam

(Adds background on investigation, cabinets)

WASHINGTON May 2 The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it plans to open investigations into possible dumping and subsidization of imports of tool chests and cabinets from China and Vietnam.

It said the decision follows a petition from Missouri-based Waterloo Industries Inc, a subsidiary of Fortune Brands and Home Security Inc.

In 2016, imports of tool chests from China and Vietnam totaled $990 million and $77 million, respectively, the department said in a statement.

The U.S. International Trade Commission will make a decision by May 26 on whether the imports cause or threaten to cause injury to U.S. producers, and if it does, the investigations will continue, the department said.

It said it would expect to make a preliminary anti-dumping decision by July and a preliminary countervailing duty decision, or finding of subsidization, by September.

Dumping margins on the products from China are alleged to be 159.99 percent and from Vietnam 21.85 percent, the department said.

Tool chests typically have bodies made of carbon, alloy, and/or stainless steel and may include drawers, trim, or other components made of other metal or non-metal materials, the department said. (Reporting by Eric Beech; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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