US Commerce Dept. Begins Antidumping Investigations Into PET Imports From Five Countries

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Photo credit: Auriga Polymers

The U.S. Commerce Department has initiated antidumping duty investigations to determine whether imports of polyethylene terephthalate, known as PET, resin from Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan are being dumped in the U.S.

The antidumping investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by Dak Americas, Charlotte, North Carolina; Indorama Ventures USA, Decatur, Ala.; M&G Polymers USA, Houston, and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. America, Lake City, South Carolina, on Sept. 26. Indorama Ventures USA is not a petitioner to the Indonesia investigation.

The Commerce Department will determine whether imports of PET resin from these countries are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value–products priced in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets.

PET resin is used in the manufacture of polyester and products such as plastic bottles, which several U.S. companies now recycle into extruding polyester and nylon fiber.

If Commerce determines that these products are being dumped into the U.S. market and if the U.S. International Trade Commission determines that dumped U.S. imports of PET resin from these countries are causing injury to the U.S. industry, the department will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping found to exist.

[Read more about AD investigations: US Fiber Firms File Antidumping Petition Against Five Asian Nations]

The estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners range from 18.76% to 115.87% from Brazil, 8.49% to 53.50% from Indonesia, 55.74% to 101.41% from South Korea, 25.03% to 43.40% from Pakistan and 14.67% to 45 percent from Taiwan.

In 2016, imports of PET resin from Brazil were valued at $51.7 million, Indonesia at $35.7 million, South Korea $24 million, Pakistan $34.1 million and Taiwan $109.8 million.

“The Department of Commerce will ensure a full and fair assessment of the facts, and, if the rules are being broken, will act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “The U.S. market is the most open in the world, but we must ensure U.S. businesses and workers are treated fairly.”

The ITC will make its preliminary determinations by Nov. 13. If the ITC determines there is injury or threat of injury, then Commerce investigations will continue, with preliminary antidumping determinations scheduled for March 5, unless deadlines are extended.

If the department preliminarily determines that dumping 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 PET resin from Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan.

Final determinations by Commerce in these cases are scheduled for May 21, but these deadlines could be extended. If the department finds that products aren’t being dumped or if 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.

From Jan. 20 through Oct. 17, the Commerce Department has initiated 70 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, a 46 percent increase over the previous year. Commerce currently maintains 412 antidumping and countervailing duty orders that provide relief to American companies and workers impacted by unfair trade.

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