U.S. OKs tariffs on imported retail bags
WASHINGTON - The U.S. government decided July 15 to impose punitive tariffs on plastic retail bags imported from China, Malaysia and Thailand.
The U.S. International Trade Commission voted 6-0 that bags from those countries are being dumped in the U.S. market. The decision means that tariffs ranging from about 2-123 percent will be assessed for at least five years, and can be renewed for another five years, an ITC official said.
ITC commissioners did not comment on the reasons for their decision.
The action was not entirely surprising, because it follows a January decision by the Department of Commerce to impose interim tariffs. Under U.S. law, tariffs must be approved by the ITC before they become final.
The U.S. government did find that three of the overseas bag producers, two from China and one from Malaysia, did not dump and excluded them from the order. But lawyers for the Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bag Committee, who brought the case, said they will challenge that ruling in federal court.
The ITC decision will not end legal wrangling. All the companies involved can continue to contest the size of tariffs in administrative hearings, and U.S. trade rules allow the government to increase or decrease tariffs retroactively.
Those changes can be significant. One U.S. company, Advance Polybag Inc. in Metairie, La., had its Thailand plant slapped with a 35 percent tariff in January, but that was cut to 5 percent in a related Department of Commerce decision, also released July 15.
However, another Thai company, Thai Plastics Bags Industries Co. of Nakhon Padhom, which has been a large supplier to retailer Target Corp., got bad news. It previously had been found not to have dumped, but the Commerce Department changed its mind and decided July 15 to impose tariffs.
Peguform cutting jobs, is planning sale
BÃ–TZINGEN, GERMANY - Germany's Peguform GmbH, the insolvent European arm of auto supplier Venture Holdings Co. LLC, will cut 700 jobs, 500 of them at its headquarters in BÃ¶tzingen.
Executives could not be reached for comment, but in German news reports July 15, manager Jobst Wellensiek confirmed the reductions as part of preparations for a planned sale of the company.
Peguform has operated under court protection for two years, first filing for insolvency in May 2002 because it lost a line of credit required to ensure prompt payment of suppliers. The injection molder of interior and exterior parts has continued to operate.
Parent company Venture of Fraser, Mich. - cut off from Peguform's income - entered Chapter 11 in March 2003.
The German supplier, with more than $1 billion in sales to a variety of European automakers, has been the focus of rumors of a potential sale, but no deal for the entire business has come to fruition.
Press boosts ATM's packaging lineup
CLEARWATER, FLA. - American Technical Molding bought a Husky Hylectric injection press to lead its push into thin-wall, high-speed packaging production.
The Clearwater-based firm finalized the purchase in mid-April after running trials on the 715-ton press, ATM sales manager Jerry Seidelman said in a telephone interview. Key attractions of the press include a 20-30 percent reduction in press tonnage requirements and a platen design that allows larger molds to be run, Seidelman said.
Hylectric presses combine hydraulic and electric power technology.
ATM now runs 22 presses in Clearwater with clamping forces of 55-720 tons. The firm bought the Hylectric press to run stack molds and increase mold cavitation to raise output and cut part costs. Other advantages are quicker cycles, better color blending and faster heat recovery, ATM claimed.
ATM is ISO 9001 certified and is working toward ISO-TS16949: 2002 accreditation by the end of the year. Its secondary services include contract manufacturing, pad printing, sonic welding and assembly.
ATM's main markets include personal care, cosmetics, automotive and medical. Sister company American Tool & Mold Inc. of Clearwater makes molds.