The trade case filed by a leading North American producer of saccharin advanced another step this week with a preliminary determination by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) that saccharin imports from the People's Republic of China (PRC) injure the US producer.
The ITC's unanimous ruling in favour of PMC Specialties (PMC), headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, sets the stage for the US Department of Commerce to impose preliminary antidumping duties on saccharin imports from the PRC, reports the company this week.
The trade petition, filed by PMC on 11 July 2002, presented evidence that PRC saccharin producers "dumped" their products in the US at prices lower than the normal value in the PRC. The petition requested the imposition of antidumping duties ranging up to approximately 300 per cent on sodium saccharin and 150 per cent on calcium saccharin, two grades of saccharin imported from the PRC.
"The unanimous vote of the ITC is an important step forward," said David A. Hartquist, an international trade attorney with the Washington, DC law firm Collier Shannon Scott, PLLC, and lead counsel to PMC.
"We are confident that the Chinese producers are dumping their product in the United States in violation of US laws and international rules governed by the World Trade Organisation. The case now moves to the Department of Commerce, which will investigate in detail the antidumping charges and range of margins the company has alleged.
This crucial step involves contacting the Chinese producers to obtain confidential information regarding their pricing practices and determining whether they are violating US law by dumping product in the US Commerce is scheduled to announce its preliminary findings on 18 December 2002."
Founded in 1966, PMC employs 160 people. Saccharin is a popular sweetener used in beverages and foods. A dumping investigation takes approximately one year to complete. The Commerce Department is the agency responsible for determining the margins of dumping. The ITC determines whether a US industry has been injured as a result of the dumped product.