[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]
The U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed a final antidumping levy of 52 percent on South Korean polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sheets, citing the adverse facts available (AFA) provision.
The hefty tariff rate on PET sheet produces from 13 Korean companies including SK Chemicals Co. was, unchanged from its preliminary finding in February, according to the Korea International Trade Association’s Washington office on Friday.
The department used the AFA provision, which allows the U.S. government to impose high anti-dumping duties if it finds the accused party failed to cooperate fully with the investigation. It slapped a 7.19 percent duty on one company that submitted sufficient data, down from the previous rate of 8.02 percent.
American PET sheet makers filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) accusing Korean, Mexican and Oman chemical firms of selling the products at unfair prices in July last year. They demanded 44.45 percent to 52.39 percent punitive tariffs.
PET sheets with thickness of 0.18mm to 1.14mm are mainly used for package of eggs and vegetables.
South Korea was the second biggest PET sheet exporter to the U.S. by accounting for a 12.1 percent market share as of 2018, following Oman with 28.2 percent.
The heavy duty would have a limited impact on SK Chemicals as the PET sheet production takes up a very small proportion of its business, but it would weigh on small and mid-sized Korean exporters that are mainly producing the products, according to an industry source.
Separately, the Commerce Department delivered a preliminary ruling to impose a 5.48 percent anti-dumping levy on South Korean 4th tier cigarettes with a length of 7.0 cm to 12 cm and a diameter of less than 1.3 cm produced by local firms including KT&G.
The decision came after the U.S. tobacco makers requested an anti-dumping investigation in December last year for damage caused by alleged dumping of Korean producers. A final ruling will be made within 120 days.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]