Posted at 6:30 PM
Today, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the initiations of new antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether imports of citric acid and certain citrate salts from Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand are being unfairly dumped in the United States, and whether Thailand producers are receiving alleged unfair subsidies.
“The Department of Commerce intends to act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices and will render our decisions at the earliest opportunity, while also assuring a full and fair assessment of the facts,” said Secretary Ross. “The U.S. market is the most open in the world, but we must take action to ensure U.S. businesses and workers are treated fairly if our rules are being broken.”
These AD and CVD investigations are based on petitions filed by DAK Americas LLC (NC), Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, America (SC), and Auriga Polymers Inc. (NC) on June 2, 2017. In the AD investigations, the Commerce Department will determine whether imports citric acid and certain citrate salts from Thailand, Belgium, and Colombia are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value.
In the CVD investigations, the Commerce Department will determine whether Thailand producers of Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts are receiving unfair government subsidies.
If the Commerce Department determines that Thailand, Belgium, and or Colombian citric acid and certain citrate salts is being dumped into the U.S. market, and/or receiving unfair government subsidies, and if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized U.S. imports of citric acid and certain citrate salts from these countries are causing injury to the U.S. industry, the Commerce Department will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.
The estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners are 15.80 to 62.13 percent for Belgium, 41.18 to 49.46 percent for Colombia, and 4.60 to 40.00 percent for Thailand, and the unfair subsidies are estimated to be above de minimis for Thailand. Commerce has initiated an investigation into nine alleged subsidy programs.
In 2016, imports of citric acid and certain citrate salts from Thailand, Belgium, and Colombia were valued at an estimated $49.9 million, $10.2 million, and $26.5 million, respectively.
Click HERE for a fact sheet on these initiations.
During the Commerce Department investigations into whether citric acid and certain citrate salts from Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand are being dumped and/or subsidized, the U.S. International Trade Commission will conduct its own investigations into whether the U.S. industry and its workforce are being harmed by such imports. The ITC will make its preliminary determinations on or before July 17. If the ITC preliminarily determines that there is injury or threat of injury then the Commerce Department investigations will continue, with a preliminary countervailing duty determination in August 2017, followed by preliminary antidumping determinations in November 2017, unless these deadlines are extended.
If the Commerce Department preliminarily determines that dumping or subsidization is occurring, then it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all U.S. companies importing the subject citric acid and certain citrate salts from Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand.
Final determinations by the Commerce Department in these cases are scheduled for November 2017 for the countervailing duty investigation, and January 2018 for the antidumping duty investigations, but those dates may be extended. If either the Commerce Department does not find that products are being dumped or unfairly subsidized, or the U.S. International Trade Commission does not find in its final determinations there is harm to the U.S. industry, then the investigations will be terminated and no duties will be applied.
From January 20, 2017, through June 23, 2017, Commerce has initiated 49 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. Commerce currently maintains 401 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.
Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to “antidumping” (AD) duties.
Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments, such as grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks and production inputs, are subject to “countervailing duties” (CVD) aimed at directly countering those subsidies.