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US slaps anti-dumping tariffs on PET resin suppliers
From:Taipei Times Staff writer, with CNA

The US Department of Commerce has imposed anti-dumping tariffs on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin suppliers from Taiwan and four other nations for selling their products at unfairly low prices in the US market.

The punitive tariffs on PET resin firms from Taiwan, South Korea, Brazil, Indonesia and Pakistan were imposed after the department on Tuesday issued an affirmative final ruling on its investigation into the alleged unfair trade practices.

For Taiwan, anti-dumping tariffs ranging from 5.16 percent to 45 percent have been imposed, the department said.

Far Eastern New Century Corp (遠東新世紀), Far Eastern Textile Ltd (遠東紡織) and Worldwide Polychem (HK) Ltd (環世聚酯香港) face a 5.16 percent anti-dumping rate, while a tariff of 45 percent was imposed on Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp (新光合成纖維), it said.

Far Eastern New Century is the largest PET resin maker in Taiwan.

Tariffs ranging from 29.68 percent to 275.89 percent were imposed on PET resin exporters from Brazil; 8.23 percent to 101.41 percent on South Korean firms; 30.61 percent to 53.50 percent on firms from Indonesia; and 43.81 percent to 59.92 percent on exporters from Pakistan, the department said.

PET resin is the raw material used for the production of soda, juice and edible oil containers, as well as a wide range of other products, such as audio/video disks.

“The strict enforcement of US trade law is a primary focus of [US President Donald Trump’s] administration,” the department said in a statement.

“Since the beginning of the current administration, the [department] has initiated 122 new anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations — this is a 221 percent increase from the comparable period in the previous administration,” it said.

The US International Trade Commission is to issue its final determinations about Nov. 1, the department said, adding that if it makes an affirmative final injury decision, the department would issue anti-dumping orders on PET resin imports from the five nations.

The US is the second-largest buyer of PET resin from Taiwanese firms, Bureau of Foreign Trade data showed.

PET resin exports to the US market last year totaled about US$140 million, 15.2 percent of total outbound PET resin sales by Taiwanese firms, the data showed.

As the tariff rates faced by Taiwanese exporters are relatively low compared with other major exporters to the US, Taiwan has a better chance of maintaining its presence in the US market, the bureau said.

Some Taiwanese PET resin makers have begun relocating their production overseas to reduce the effects of the US tariffs, it added.

This story has been corrected since it was first published.

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