Citric Acid Producers File Antidumping Petition Against China

(Washington, D.C.) - Three domestic producers, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Tate & Lyle Citric Acid, Inc., and Cargill, Incorporated, today charged China with dumping citric acid and sodium citrate in the United States and petitioned the U.S. government to assess antidumping duties in excess of 350 percent on those imports. Citric acid and sodium citrate are widely used in carbonated and other beverages to enhance flavor and as an acidulant. Dumping, which is defined as selling a product in the United States at less than its “normal value” in the home market, violates U.S. unfair trade laws.

The antidumping petition, which the three companies filed today with the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission, states that China’s exports of citric acid and sodium citrate to the United States have tripled since 1996. During the same period, Chinese prices in the United States have declined substantially. As a result, the Chinese share of the domestic market has more than doubled in the last year alone.

Warren E. Connelly, an international trade attorney with the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., counsel to the three petitioning companies, explained, “The Chinese citric acid industry has built enormous production capacity that far exceeds current and projected internal demand. As a result, Chinese producers have targeted the United States as a critical market, and this strategy is reflected in extremely aggressive pricing tactics at major U.S. accounts. The antidumping laws exist to protect domestic producers confronted by the types of unfair trade described in the petition that we filed today.”

Once filed with Commerce and the ITC, antidumping cases take approximately one year for the final U.S. government determination. Commerce must decide within 20 days of the filing date whether to initiate an investigation. The ITC has 45 days from the filing date to make a preliminary determination that there is a “reasonable indication” of harm to the domestic industry from the Chinese imports. Commerce is responsible for determining dumping margins and sets preliminary antidumping duties on the imports within 140 days of its initiation of an investigation. Importers must post a bond to cover these duties. After a final affirmative dumping determination by Commerce, the case returns to the ITC for a final injury determination.

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