US duties hit China-subsidised rubber bands, Thais escape tariff

THE US Commerce Department has ruled that imported Chinese rubber
bands receive hefty state subsidies from China while Thai companies
received much less help, reports American Shipper.

Imports of rubber bands from China were valued at US$4.9 million while
those from Thailand in 2017 were valued at $12.1 million.

Commerce assigned a preliminary subsidy rate of 125.77 per cent to
Graceful Imp & Exp Co Ltd, Moyoung Trading Co Ltd and Ningbo Syloon
Imp & Exp Co Ltd. The department assigned the same preliminary subsidy
rate to other Chinese producers and exporters.

For its Thailand investigation, Commerce assigned preliminary subsidy
rates of 0.23 per cent to Liang Hah Heng International Rubber Co Ltd
and 0.37 percent to U Yong Industry Co Ltd. Since the preliminary
determination is negative, no other Thai rubber band producers and
exporters were assigned a countervailing duty rate.

Based on these determinations, Commerce will instruct Customs and
Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of rubber
bands from China based on these preliminary rates. Since the subsidy
rates calculated in the Thai investigation are minimal, no charge will
be made.

The petitioner is Alliance Rubber Co of Arkansas. A countervailing
duty determination is expected by November 13.

If Commerce makes affirmative final determinations, the US
International Trade Commission will make its final injury
determinations by December 28.