US closes anti-dumping inquiry on Sri Lanka rubber bands

The United States has terminated the Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations on imports of Rubber Bands from Sri Lanka on 15 March.The decision on 15th March 2018 at 11.00 am, to terminate Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations on Lankan rubber bands was taken at a vote held at the International Trade Commission (ITC), US.

ITCUS’ Chairman Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Vice Chairman David S. Johanson, and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson and Meredith M. Broadbent made a finding of negligibility with respect to Sri Lanka, but voted affirmative for investigations with respect to China and Thailand.

On 21 February 2018, the US announced the initiation of new Antidumping Duty (AD) and Countervailing Duty (CVD) investigations “to determine whether rubber bands from China, Sri Lanka, and Thailand were being dumped in the United States or if producers in China, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are receiving unfair subsidies.” The US announced investigations on21 February after a US manufacturer of Rubber bands filled an Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duty Petition at the US Department of Commerce (USDOC) and US International Trade Commission (USITC) alleging that producers and exporters of rubber bands in Sri Lanka, Thailand and China are selling their products in the US market at less than normal value (Dumping) and also, they have benefited from subsidies provided by respective governments. The petitioner further alleged that these imports cause material injury or threaten material injury to the domestic rubber industry of the United States and requested the USDOC for an investigation aiming at imposition of anti-dumping / countervailing duty on imports as per the Anti-dumping and countervailing Duty Laws of the United States.

Based on the petition, the USDOC and USITC initiated parallel anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of Rubber Bands from Sri Lanka, Thailand and China on 21st February 2018.

The Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Department and the affected exporters in Sri Lanka made number of submissions to the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission in the preliminary investigation stage rebutting the petitioner’s claims.

The main argument of the Sri Lankan was that Sri Lanka’s value and volume of export of rubber bands (the petitioned merchandise) to the US falls below the minimum threshold to initiate an anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation as specified in the WTO Agreements. Accordingly, the ITC in the preliminary based investigation, has now determined that imports from Sri Lanka of the product was negligible in value terms.

The U.S. Department of Commerce will now terminate the anti-dumping and Countervailing duty investigations on Sri Lanka that had been initiated by the ITC. Hence, there will be no CVD or AD investigations with respect to Sri Lanka at the DOC. However, the Commission has found the exports from Thailand and China are affirmative and the investigations to becontinued on those two countries.