According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, there is a “reasonable indication” that the domestic industry is materially injured by imports of fine denier polyester staple fiber from China, India, South Korea and Taiwan that are allegedly sold in the U.S. at less than fair value and subsidized by the governments of China and India.
As a result of the ITC’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of this product from the four countries, with its preliminary countervailing duty determinations due on or about Aug. 24, and its anti-dumping duty determinations due on or about Nov. 7.
Three major U.S. synthetic fiber producers—DAK Americas LLC, Nan Ya Plastics Corp. and Auriga Polymers Inc.—had filed petitions with the ITC on June 1 alleging that dumped imports of fine denier polyester staple fiber from the countries, and subsidized imports of fine denier polyester staple fiber from China and India are causing material injury to the domestic industry. The U.S. companies have production facilities in North and South Carolina.
The three petitioning domestic producers asked the U.S. government to investigate the dumping, subsidies and injury, and to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on the imports of the fiber from those countries.
The petitions allege that producers in each of the countries are dumping the fiber in the U.S. market at sizeable margins: 88.07% to 103.06% from China, 21.31% to 29.7% from India, 27.16% to 45.23% from South Korea and 29.32% to 43.81% from Taiwan.
The petitions also allege that the Chinese fine denier polyester staple fiber industry benefits from 20 different Chinese government subsidies and that the Indian fine denier polyester staple fiber industry benefits from 33 Indian government subsidies. The allegations identify a number of significant national and regional programs, including preferential export financing; preferential income tax treatment; tax exemptions, rebates and credits on imports of inputs and capital goods used in the production of the fiber, and grants for producers to assist in the development of the export market and to protect against commercial risk.
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The petition said the filing is in response to surging volumes of aggressively priced fine denier polyester staple fiber imports from those countries. Subject import volume increased to 252.5 million pounds in 2016 from 150.3 million pounds in 2014, or by nearly 68 percent over that three-year period. The subject imports undersold the domestic industry, taking sales from and exerting considerable downward pricing pressure on U.S. producers.
“As a result of increasing volumes of low-priced imports, the condition of the domestic industry has suffered,” the petition states. “U.S. producers have experienced declining production and shipment volumes and deteriorating financial performance as a result of the lost sales and price depression caused by the subject imports. Foreign producers of fine denier PSF also continue to threaten the domestic industry with additional injury due to their massive and growing production capacity and extensive unused capacity that will be used to export large volumes of unfairly low-priced and subsidized product to the United States. The injury to the domestic fine denier PSF industry is likely to continue if duties are not imposed to offset these unfair trading practices.”
Anti-dumping duties are intended to offset the amount by which a product is sold at less than fair value, or “dumped,” in the U.S. The margin of dumping is calculated by the Commerce Department. Estimated duties in the amount of the dumping are collected from importers. Countervailing duties are intended to offset unfair subsidies that are provided by foreign governments and benefit the production of a particular good.
The fiber is typically converted to yarn for weaving or knitting into fabric or to a non-woven textile prior to the end-use application. Woven applications include the production of textiles such as clothing and bedding linen.