ITC Rules In Favor Of Petition Against Imports Of Laminated Woven Sacks From China

By a 6-0 vote, the US International Trade Commission recently announced its affirmative decision on the petition filed by US producers of laminated woven polypropylene sacks claiming that China is involved in dumping and subsidizing exports of these products.

Laminated woven sacks are typically used to package pet food, bird seed, and similar products sold at retail. The ITC's affirmative vote means that US importers of these products from China will be required to pay high duties to offset what is seen as unfair pricing and Chinese government subsidies.

Joe Dorn, a partner at King & Spalding, the law firm representing the petitioners, said: "Today's ITC vote represents an important victory for US producers of laminated woven sacks and their workers. It also has broader significance, because it is the first time the US government has decided to impose duties against a textile product to offset subsidies granted by the Chinese Government. The decision sends a strong message to China that government subsidies that lead to imports at unfair prices will not be tolerated by the US government."

Isaac Bazbaz, president of Polytex Fibers, located in Houston, TX, said, "We are pleased by this decision because it will enable us to compete on even terms in a business that we believe has enormous potential. It will allow us to create new jobs in Houston."

The vote was the final determination in investigations that began on June 28, 2007, when the Laminated Woven Sacks Committee filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with the ITC and the US Department of Commerce. The members of the Committee are Bancroft Bag, Inc.; Coating Excellence International, LLC; Hood Packaging Corporation; Mid-America Packaging, LLC; and Polytex Fibers Corporation.

The Department of Commerce has made affirmative antidumping and countervailing duty determinations with respect to the import of these products to the USA. It found that the margin of dumping ranged from 64.28 percent to 91.73 percent, and that the net subsidy rate ranged from 29.54 percent to 352.82 percent, depending on the identity of the Chinese producer. Consequently, import duties in these amounts will be imposed to offset dumping and the perceived unfair advantage of government subsidies given to Chinese producers of these products. Because the antidumping and countervailing duties apply independently to imports of these products, the combined duties that will result from these measures will range from 93.82 percent to 444.55 percent of the customs value of the imported products, depending upon the identity of the Chinese producer.

Mike Nowak, president of Coating Excellence, located in Wrightstown, WI, stated, "The ITC's decision confirms something that we have known for a long time — dumped and subsidized imports from China prevented us from getting this business off the ground. We now look forward to working closely with our customers to serve this growing market. This decision will allow us to expand capacity and create new jobs in Wisconsin."

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