Responding to a petition filed last month by Louisiana-based Lion Elastomers with the support of several labor organizations, the U.S. Department of Commerce this week initiated antidumping investigations of certain emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESBR) from the Czech Republic, Italy and Russia that is being sold in the United States at less than fair value.
ESBR is used primarily as an input to produce motor vehicle tires but has additional applications in a variety of other products, including conveyor belts, shoe soles, hoses, roller coverings, and flooring.
In its petition, Lion stated that “a clear pattern of unfair pricing” by six exporters in the three countries “has caused material injury to the domestic industry, in the form of lost sales, decreased production volume and capacity utilization, lower profit margins, and contractions in labor force retention.”
Scope of the Investigations
The scope of the investigations covers grades of ESBR included in the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP) 1500 and 1700 series of synthetic rubbers in all solid forms, including, but not limited to, bales, granules, crumbs, pellets, powders, plates, sheets, and strip.
Specifically excluded from the investigations, however, are products that are manufactured by blending ESB rubber with other polymers, high styrene resin master batch, carbon black master batch (i.e., IISRP 1600 series and 1800 series) and latex (an intermediate product).
The products subject to these investigations are currently classifiable under subheadings HTSUS 4002.19.0015 and 4002.19.0019.
The petitioner alleges dumping margins of 35.87% for the Czech Republic, 44.51% for Italy, and 67.87% for Russia.
Preliminary Determination of Material Injury
The International Trade Commission will preliminarily determine, prior to December 27, whether there is a reasonable indication that imports of ESBR from the Czech Republic, Italy, and/or Russia are materially injuring, or threatening material injury to Lion and other domestic producers.
A negative ITC determination for any country will result in the investigation being terminated with respect to that country. In this regard, it should be noted that Lion has previously been successful in demonstrating that imports of ESBR from Brazil, Korea, Mexico, and Poland sold in the U.S. at less-than-fair-value were causing or threatening to cause material injury, resulting in the adoption of an antidumping duty order on September 12, 2017.
Scope Comments Requested
Commerce is setting aside a period for interested parties to raise issues regarding product coverage (i.e., scope). During this time, Commerce will consider all comments received from interested parties and, if necessary, will consult with them prior to the issuance of the preliminary determinations.
Comments must be filed electronically via Enforcement and Compliance’s Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS) prior to the deadline of 5:00 PM (EST) on December 27, 2021.