The U.S. government plans to impose final duties of up to nearly 96 percent on plastic shopping bags from Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan.
The rulings from the Department of Commerce impose specific penalties on 18 companies from Vietnam, two from Indonesia and two from Taiwan, in addition to general duties on all imports from those countries.
The amounts ranged from 69-85 percent for Indonesia, 36 percent to almost 96 percent in Taiwan and 52-76 percent in Vietnam.
U.S. plastic bag makers hailed the decision as correcting what they said are unfairly priced imports that violate American trade laws and rules of the World Trade Organization.
The duties should help restore fair competition to the U.S. market and enable those companies to keep plants and jobs in the United States,'' said Joe Dorn, a lawyer for several U.S. plastic bag makers who brought the legal action on behalf of Hilex Poly Co. LLC in Hartsville, S.C., and Superbag Corp. in Houston. He spoke in a statement.
Vietnamese press quoted a government official as saying the U.S. ruling is unfair and said the country presented evidence to U.S. officials that Vietnamese companies followed WTO rules in exporting.
The U.S. government announced the dumping margins and amounts of subsidies in two late-March decisions. The U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to issue its final ruling April 14.
The U.S. also said plastic bags from Vietnam benefit from subsidies ranging from 0.44 percent to 52.6 percent. It's the first time the U.S. government has applied its anti-subsidy/countervailing duty laws to Vietnam, said Dorn, who is with the King & Spaulding law firm in Washington.
According to U.S. government data, imports of plastic bags from Vietnam rose the most from 2006-08, from $17.4 million to $79.4 million, respectively.
Imports from Taiwan rose from $17.6 million to $51.2 million in that time, while imports from Indonesia rose from $23.5 million to $37.7 million.
If the trade commission affirms the rulings April 14, importers will have to pay cash deposits on bags from all three places and, in the case of Vietnam, pay additional countervailing duty deposits.
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