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August 2004

Antidumping Duties Imposed on Plastic Shopping Bags
China, Malaysia, and Thailand Included

Houston, TX— The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) voted unanimously on July 15, 2004, that “dumped” imports of plastic grocery and shopping bags from China, Malaysia, and Thailand have materially injured the U.S. industry, according to the Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bag Committee. As a result of the ITC’s ruling and the affirmative final determinations of dumping made by the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) on June 9, 2004, Commerce will impose antidumping orders against imports from all three countries.

Commerce found that imports are being dumped, that is, sold in the U.S. market at less than fair value, from all three countries under investigation. In a notice published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2004, Commerce announced that the final dumping margins range from 19.79 to 77.57 percent for China, from 84.94 to 101.74 percent for Malaysia, and from 2.26 to 122.88 percent for Thailand.

The purpose of the antidumping law is to offset the unfair competitive advantage that foreign exporters enjoy as a result of selling merchandise in the U.S. at less than fair value. The law provides for antidumping duties to be collected on imports that are subject to an antidumping order. Customs assesses antidumping duties based on application of the percentage-dumping margin to the entered value of the merchandise.

Upon publication of the antidumping orders in the Federal Register, which should occur by the first week in August, U.S. importers will be required to tender a cash deposit to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (Customs) on each entry sufficient to cover the estimated antidumping duties. Liquidation of the entries will be suspended until the actual margins of dumping are determined in administrative reviews conducted by Commerce. Importers’ ultimate antidumping liabilities at the time of liquidation may substantially exceed those announced in the Federal Register notice, depending on the outcome of administrative reviews. The duties apply to imports of bags made in China, Malaysia, or Thailand, even if they are transshipped through other countries on the way to the U.S.

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