New AD/CVD Petition: Snow Throwers from China and Organic Soybean Meal from India

Biden Trade Tariffs and Duties

We are still within the first 100 days of President Biden’s administration, and international trade has taken a far lower profile than in President Trump’s first 100 days. Though many are grateful that President Biden has avoided the inflammatory trade rhetoric and the unleashing of wave after wave of tariffs by the Trump Administration, many are waiting to see how Biden deals with trade issues generally, and specifically with all of the inherited tariffs. So far Biden has issued an Executive Order to strengthen Buy American provisions for government procurement. But most are waiting to see if the Biden Administration will roll back the various tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration. With both Democrats and Republicans in strong agreement that “something” needs to be done with China, my bet is that President Biden will be in no hurry to undo Trump’s China tariffs any time in the foreseeable future, unless there is a significant change in the U.S.-China relationship. For more on what to expect from the Biden Administration on International trade, check out The Biden Administration on International Trade – Webinar Replay.

Meanwhile, beyond the higher level trade policy actions, other more standard trade actions are still being filed by domestic industries who are seeking relief from import competition.  The two latest cases were just filed on snow throwers from China and organic soybean meal from India.

Below is  a summary of these two now AD/CVD petitions

Snow Throwers from China

On March 30, 2021, MTD Products, Inc. filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions against U.S. imports of certain walk-behind snow throwers and parts thereof from China.

MTD Products recently filed AD/CVD petitions against lawn mowers from China and Vietnam.  Since the mowers case resulted in high AD/CVD margins, it looks like MTD Products felt it should try and get similar trade protection for another of its products that are facing import competition.

Scope of Snowblower Investigations

The petition proposes the scope of the merchandise to be covered by these AD/CVD investigations as gas-powered, walk-behind snow throwers (also known as snow blowers), which are snow moving machines that are powered by internal combustion engines and primarily pedestrian-controlled. The scope of the investigation covers certain snow throwers, whether self-propelled or non-self-propelled, whether finished or unfinished, whether assembled or unassembled, and whether containing any additional features that provide for functions in addition to snow throwing.

See the proposed scope definition for a complete description of the physical characteristics of the covered merchandise, and the HTS numbers that may be used to import the subject merchandise.

Alleged AD/CVD Margins

Petitioner calculated estimated dumping margins of up to 87.71%.

Although Petitioner alleged numerous government subsidy programs that benefitted the Chinese snow thrower industry, Petitioner did not allege a specific subsidy rates.

Named Exporters/Producers

Petitioner included a list of companies that it believes are producers and exporters of the subject merchandise.

Named U.S. Importers

Petitioner included a list of companies that it believes are U.S. importers of the subject merchandise.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations

March 30, 2021 – Petitions filed
April 19, 2021 – DOC initiates investigation
April 20, 2021 – ITC Staff Conference
May 13, 2021 – ITC preliminary determination

August 27, 2021 – DOC CVD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline) (6/23/21 – unextended)
October 26, 2021 – DOC AD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline) (9/6/21 – unextended)
March 10, 2022 – DOC final determination (extended)
April 24, 2022 – ITC final determination (extended)

May 1, 2022 – DOC AD orders issued (extended)

 

Organic Soybean Meal from India

On March 31, 2021, the Organic Soybean Processors of America, consisting of American Natural Processors, LLC, Lester Feed & Grain Co., Organic Production Services, LLC, Professional Proteins, Ltd., Sheppard Grain Enterprises, LLC, Simmons Grain Company, Super Soy, LLC, and Tri-State Crush, LLC, filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions against U.S. imports of organic soybean meal from India.

Organic soybean meal is used by the organic poultry and dairy industry.  The petition notes that as recently as 2014-16, it held 80% of the U.S. market, but rapidly lost market share primarily to unfairly low priced Indian imports, so that it now holds only 31% of the market in 2020.

Scope of Soybean Investigation

The petition proposes the scope of the merchandise to be covered by these AD/CVD investigations as certified organic soybean meal which can consist of ground soybean cake, ground soybean chips, and/or ground soybean flakes, with or without oil residues. Soybean cake is the product after the extraction of part of the oil from soybeans. Soybean chips and soybean flakes are produced by cracking, heating, and flaking soybeans and reducing the oil content of the conditioned product. “Certified organic soybean meal” is certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) or equivalently certified to NOP standards.

See the proposed scope definition for a complete description of the physical characteristics of the covered merchandise, and the HTS numbers that may be used to import the subject merchandise.

Alleged AD/CVD Margins

Petitioner calculated estimated dumping margins of up to 154.12%.

Although Petitioner alleged numerous government subsidy programs that benefitted the Indian organic soybean mean industry, Petitioner did not allege a specific subsidy rates.

Named Exporters/ Producers

Petitioner included a list of companies that it believes are producers and exporters of the subject merchandise.

Named U.S. Importers

Petitioner included a list of companies that it believes are U.S. importers of the subject merchandise.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations

March 31, 2021 – Petitions filed
April 20, 2021 – DOC initiates investigation
April 21, 2021 – ITC Staff Conference
May 14, 2021 – ITC preliminary determination

August 28, 2021 – DOC CVD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline) (6/24/21 – unextended)
October 27, 2021 – DOC AD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline) (9/7/21 – unextended)
March 11, 2022 – DOC final determination (extended)
April 25, 2022 – ITC final determination (extended)

May 2, 2022 – DOC AD orders issued (extended)

Under U.S. trade laws, a domestic industry can petition the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) and U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) to investigate whether the named subject imports are being sold to the United States at less than fair value (“dumping”).  For AD duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping, but also that the subject imports are causing “material injury” or “threat of material injury” to the domestic industry.

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