The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced it will initiate new anti-dumping probes of rubber bands imported from China, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said on February 22 that new anti-dumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations will be initiated to determine whether rubber bands from these countries are being dumped in the United States, or if producers in these nations are receiving unfair subsidies.
“The Department will act swiftly while ensuring a full and fair assessment of the facts,” said Ross in a written statement. “The Trump administration is committed to the enforcement of America’s trade laws that ensure U.S. businesses and workers have a fair chance to compete.”
These AD and CVD investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by Alliance Rubber Company on January 30, 2018.
The alleged dumping margins range from 27.27% for China, 56.54% to 133.13% for Sri Lanka, and 28.92% to 78.36% for Thailand. There are 16 subsidy programs alleged for China, 20 subsidy programs alleged for Sri Lanka, and 10 subsidy programs alleged for Thailand.
In the AD investigations, Commerce will determine whether imports of rubber bands from the three Asian countries are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value.
In the CVD investigations, Commerce will determine whether Chinese, Sri Lankan, and Thai producers of rubber bands are receiving 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 rubber bands from China, Sri Lanka, and Thailand 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,” said the statement.
Products covered by these investigations are bands made of vulcanized rubber. Vulcanized rubber has been chemically processed into a more durable material by the addition of sulfur or other equivalent curatives or accelerators. The scope includes vulcanized rubber bands which are contained or otherwise exist in various forms and packages, such as vulcanized rubber bands included within a desk accessory set or other type of set or package, and vulcanized rubber band balls.
Trade enforcement is a prime focus of the Trump Administration. From January 20, 2017, through February 21, 2018, Commerce has initiated 102 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations—a 96% increase from 52 investigations initiated during January 20, 2016, through February 21, 2017.
Commerce currently maintains 424 anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.
In 2017, imports of rubber bands from China, Sri Lanka, and Thailand were valued at an estimated US$4.9 million, $2 million, and $12.1 million, respectively.
Final determinations by Commerce in these cases are tentatively scheduled for July 10, 2018, for the CVD investigations, and September 24, 2018, for the AD investigations.
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