Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether laminated woven sacks from Vietnam are being dumped in the United States or if producers in Vietnam are receiving unfair subsidies.
“With the doubling of the number of trade cases initiated since this same period last year, this Administration has made it clear that we will vigorously administer antidumping and countervailing duty laws,” said Secretary Ross. “When initiating a trade investigation, the Department of Commerce begins an open and transparent process that allows American companies and workers to gain relief from the market-distorting effects of injurious dumping and subsidization of imports.”
These AD and CVD investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by the Laminated Woven Sacks Fair Trade Coalition and its individual members, Polytex Fibers Corporation (Houston, TX) and ProAmpac Holdings Inc. (Cincinnati, OH) on March 7, 2018. The alleged dumping margins range from 101.73 – 292.61 percent. There are 19 subsidy programs alleged for Vietnam.
In the AD investigation, Commerce will determine whether imports of laminated woven sacks from Vietnam are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value.
In the CVD investigation, Commerce will determine whether Vietnamese producers of laminated woven sacks are receiving unfair government subsidies.
If Commerce makes affirmative findings in these investigations, and if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized U.S. imports of laminated woven sacks from Vietnam are causing injury to the U.S. industry, Commerce will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.
In 2017, U.S. imports of laminated woven sacks from Vietnam were valued at an estimated $21.1 million.
for a fact sheet on these initiations.
During Commerce’s investigations into whether laminated woven sacks from Vietnam are being dumped and/or unfairly subsidized, the ITC 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 April 23, 2018. If the ITC preliminarily determines that there is injury or threat of injury, then Commerce’s investigations will continue, with the preliminary CVD determination scheduled for May 31, 2018, and preliminary AD determination scheduled for August 14, 2018, unless these deadlines are extended.
If Commerce preliminarily determines that dumping and/or unfair subsidization is occurring, then it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all U.S. companies importing laminated woven sacks from Vietnam.
Final determinations by Commerce in these cases are scheduled for August 14, 2018, for the CVD investigation, and October 29, 2018, for the AD investigation, but those dates may be extended. If Commerce finds that products are not being dumped or unfairly subsidized, or the ITC finds in its final determinations there is no harm to the U.S. industry, then the investigations will be terminated and no duties will be applied.
Enforcement of U.S. trade law is a prime focus of the Trump administration. From January 20, 2017, through March 27, 2018, the Commerce Department has initiated 104 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 100 percent increase from January 20, 2017, through March 27, 2018.
The AD and CVD laws provide U.S. businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of unfair pricing of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 428 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing the U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international rules and is based solely on factual evidence.
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” duties. Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments, such as grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks or production inputs, are subject to “countervailing duties” aimed at directly countering those subsidies.