U.S. raids Chinese auto parts maker in Ohio

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas looks on during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing titled "Worldwide Threats to the Homeland" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. DHS agents raided an Ohio-based auto parts manufacturer recently. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
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Jan. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. Department of Homeland Security officers have searched a Chinese auto parts maker that a congressional committee has accused of trade fraud.

DHS officers executed the search warrant at Harco Manufacturing Group in Moraine, Ohio, on Thursday, according to the Dayton Daily News. Harco is a subsidiary of Sunsong, the Chinese parts manufacturer. Sunsong acquired Harco in 2015. The address for Harco is the same address Sunsong North America lists on its website.

There is growing concern among U.S. lawmakers that some Chinese companies are evading U.S. tariffs, the news portals Axios and Bloomberg have reported.

The search was "part of an ongoing federal investigation," a DHS spokesperson told Dayton Daily News.

In September, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party in September wrote a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas accusing Qingdao Sunsong of moving some of its production to Thailand to evade U.S. tariffs.

The letter identified Qingdao Sunsong's public filings, which say the company's products are subject to U.S. import tariffs of 25% imposed on certain goods made in China and that "in order to reduce tariff costs, the issuer has accelerated production in Thailand."

In the letter to Mayorkas, Republican congressmen Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Darin LaHood of Illinois called Sunsong's actions a "case of blatant trade fraud that is having a catastrophic impact on American manufacturers."

"The use of transshipment to evade United States tariffs is a serious violation of U.S. law and undermines American economic and national security," the lawmakers wrote.

The Biden administration has kept many of the tariffs that the Trump administration imposed on China beginning in 2018.

China has not met its commitment laid out in a 2020 trade deal with the U.S., which required the country to increase its purchases of U.S. goods and services.