ANNOUNCEMENT 31 Mar 2009In March 2009, the government of the United States of America initiated a new anti-subsidy and a new anti-dumping investigation.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
In addition to the sources hyperlinked in the description above, data on the petitioners and their claims were obtained directly from the petition. Several other documents related to the investigation may be reached at http://www.usitc.gov/trade_remedy/731_ad_701_cvd/investigations/2009/prcb/prelimphase.htm.
In a petition filed on March 31, 2009, two U.S. firms seek the imposition of penalty duties on imports of polyethylene retail carrier bags from Indonesia, Taiwan (also known as Chinese Taipei), and Vietnam. The petitioners seek anti-dumping duties against all three of these countries, and countervailing duties against imports from Vietnam. The petitioners claim dumping margins of 50.90% for Indonesia, 73.94-100.33% for Taiwan, and 30.74-75.13% for Vietnam (based on the use of India as a surrogate country under the non-market economy methodology). The petition also identifies a series of subsidy programs from which Vietnamese producers are alleged to benefit, but does not quantify an overall subsidy rate.
The Department of Commerce reached final dumping margins of 69.64-85.17% (Indonesia), 36.54-95.81% (Taiwan), and 5.23-76.11% (Vietnam), and a final subsidy margin of de minimis-52.56% (Vietnam). The orders went into effect after the U.S. International Trade Commission reached an affirmative final injury determination on April 15, 2010.
One aspect of this investigation is unusual: By proposing that countervailing duties be imposed upon imports from Vietnam, the petitioner asks that this country be considered a market economy for purposes of the CVD investigation, but a non-market economy for purposes of the anti-dumping investigation. That is the same status now held by China under U.S. trade-remedy law. It is up to the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the Department of Commerce to determine whether Vietnam should be so considered.
This is not the first action brought against imports of polyethylene retail carrier bags under the trade-remedy laws. Petitioners are Hilex Poly. Co., LLC (based in South Carolina) and Superbag Corporation (based in Texas). Superbag and two firms that later merged to become Hilex Poly were members of a five-company coalition that in 2003 filed an AD petition against imports of the same product from China, Malaysia, and Thailand; AD orders remain in place against imports from those countries. Superbag also brought an action in 2003 under section 337 (the unfair trade practices law) against imports of this same product from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand; that led to settlements, consent orders, and exclusion orders against some of the respondents.
The petitions provided data on the value of imports from these countries in their petition, but deleted these numbers from the public version of the document. The petition nevertheless notes that the subject merchandise is identical to HTS item 3923.21.0085; the United States imported $459.2 million worth of this product in 2008, $168.4 million of which came from the three countries named in the petition.