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Import Restrictions Sought on Large Residential Washers

Monday, June 05, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

A new tariff-rate quota on large residential washers is being sought in a safeguard petition filed May 31. The petition argues that existing antidumping duty orders on these products have not remedied a “surge of injurious imports” as two South Korean producers have shifted production to other countries to avoid AD duties.

The petition was filed with the International Trade Commission under section 201 of the 1974 Trade Act, which requires the ITC to determine whether an article is being imported in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause or threat of serious injury to a U.S. industry. The relief being sought is a three-year TRQ that would permit a base level of subject goods to enter the U.S. without safeguard tariffs while ensuring that the domestic industry would not experience further injury due to additional surges in imports. The petition suggests allocating TRQ volumes by country based on import levels during a historical period (e.g., 2012 to 2016) and using the AD duty rates recently determined by the International Trade Administration as “one point of reference” in determining the tariffs to be imposed on over-quota volumes.

The petition does not seek relief from source countries that have not injured and do not threaten to injure the U.S. industry and expects that any TRQs imposed would not apply to various countries based on their preferential trade status. The petition also raises the possibility of exclusions for specialty products if they do not compete with domestically produced goods.

The ITC now has 120 days to make a decision, 150 if the investigation is deemed extraordinarily complicated. The petitioner is not alleging the existence of critical circumstances or requesting provisional relief but is urging the ITC to conduct its investigation as quickly as possible.

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