Washington — The US Department of Commerce has ruled that emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber from Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Poland is being dumped in the US market at margins ranging from 9.66 to 44.3%.
Commerce's 11 July ruling affirmed the agency's agreement with the July 2016 petition from Lion Elastomers LLC and the now-bankrupt East West Copolymer LLC Lion and East West sought protection from ESBR imports they claimed were selling in the US at less than fair value.
With this determination, Commerce now will instruct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits on these imports, based on the final antidumping rates.
The ITC should make its final determination 24 Aug, Commerce said.
Matthew McGrath, attorney with the Washington firm Barnes, Richardson & Colburn LLP — who represented Lion Elastomers at a 29 June hearing before the International Trade Commission — said his clients were pleased with the Commerce determination.
"One of the manufacturers has gone out of business, which shows the urgency of relief," McGrath said. "So we look forward to an affirmative determination from the ITC in August."
William Sjoberg, attorney with the Washington firm Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP, who represented the importers at the hearing, declined comment.
In its determination, Commerce found that Arlanxeo Brasil SA, the sole mandatory respondent from Brazil, dumped its ESBR in the US at a margin of 19.61%. The agency assessed the same rate to all other Brazilian ESBR producers.
In the South Korean investigation, only one of the mandatory respondents, LG Chem Ltd., participated in the investigation, Commerce said. It assessed LG an antidumping rate of 9.66%, the same general rate it gave to other South Korean ESBR producers.
Two other mandatory respondents, Daewoo International Corp. and Kumho Petrochemical Co. Ltd., did not participate in the investigation and were assessed antidumping duties of 44.3%, Commerce said.
In the Polish investigation, the sole mandatory respondent, Synthos Dwory, received a dumping margin of 25.43%, the same rate found for all Polish ESBR producers, Commerce said.
In the Mexican investigation, the sole mandatory respondent, Industrias Negromex SA de CV — Planta Altamira, received a dumping margin of 25.43%, the same as all Mexican ESBR producers, the agency said.
Lion and East West alleged in their petition that critical circumstances existed in the case of ESBR imports from Brazil and South Korea, meaning that Customs and Border Protection should impose provisional duties retroactively, effective 90 days before the publication of the original February preliminary determination in the Federal Register.
Commerce found that critical circumstances exist only in the case of South Korea, and said it would order CBP to impose provisional measures on Daewoo and Kumho.
Import statistics from Commerce show that imports of ESBR from the targeted nations totalled 44,453 tonnes in 2016, with a value of $56.7 million (€49.4 million). That was 27% higher than in 2015.
By country of origin, the agency's data show:
Brazil exported 24,590 tonnes worth $29.8 million last year, vs. 15,090 tons worth $21.1 million in 2015 and 21,274 tonnes worth $40.9 million in 2014.
South Korea exported 337 tonnes worth $503,000 in 2016, 436 tonnes worth $621,000 in 2016 and 229 tonnes worth $453,000 in 2014.
Mexican ESBR producers exported 17,099 tonnes worth $23.1 million in 2016, 17,013 tonnes worth $25.5 million in 2015 and 19,873 tonnes worth $44.7 million in 2014.
Polish ESBR producers exported 2,427 tonnes worth $3.4 million in 2016, 2,352 tonnes worth $3.4 million in 2015, and 2,539 tonnes worth $5.1 million in 2014.