U.S. Manufacturers Welcome Improvements in Antidumping Orders

Proposals would give antidumping watchdogs sharper teeth.

A coalition of U.S. manufacturers welcomed a new trade enforcement package proposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) intended to improve important aspects of its administrative practices. The Coalition for Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders applauded a set of 14 proposals released yesterday that would introduce changes in a variety of the agency's practices.

"The Commerce Department's proposed changes will be very useful in its administration of the trade laws. While the details still remain to be known, Commerce clearly is taking steps to improve its enforcement of the laws," said Joe Downes, spokesperson for the Coalition for Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders and Senior Vice President of Leggett & Platt, Incorporated, Carthage, Missouri. "These changes will result in more accurate and effective trade orders."

At the same time, the Coalition noted the need for continued efforts to provide Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection with enhanced capabilities and tools to combat illegal schemes to circumvent trade orders once they are in place. Such schemes cause the loss of good-paying American jobs, injure domestic industries, and cost the U.S. Treasury millions of dollars in uncollected duties every year.

"Even with these changes, important work remains to be done. Commerce's proposals will be an excellent complement to legislative efforts currently underway in the Senate and House," said Wendy Watson, of Leggett and Platt. "The Coalition supports Commerce's efforts but recognizes the need to give the agency even greater powers to address illegal transshipment and circumvention."

The Coalition notes that on August 5, 2010, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Circumvention and Evasion (ENFORCE) Act of 2010 to give important new tools to Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to these combat illegal schemes to evade special duties. The ENFORCE Act would give Commerce and CBP important tools to combat illegal circumvention and duty evasion, including:

  • A rapid-response timeline for Commerce and CBP to respond to allegations of evasion;
  • Empowering Commerce to investigate the evasion of an antidumping or countervailing duty (AD/CVD) order, which Commerce imposed in the first place;
  • Facilitating greater cooperation and information-sharing between Commerce and CBP.

"We strongly encourage Commerce to incorporate these tools in its proposed package to the extent possible under existing laws," said Downes. "And we strongly encourage the Obama Administration to lend its support to the ENFORCE Act to further strengthen the nation's ability to combat unfair trade practices that hurt U.S. manufacturing and employment."

The Coalition for Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders consists of the following companies: M&B Metal Products (Leeds, Alabama), Vulcan Threaded Products (Pelham, Alabama), Leggett & Platt, Incorporated (Carthage, Missouri), Mid Continent Nail (Poplar Bluff, Missouri), American Spring Wire Company (Bedford Heights, Ohio), Insteel Industries (Mt. Airy, North Carolina), John Maneely Company (Beachwood, Ohio), Geo Specialty Chemicals (Lafayette, Indiana), and SSW Holding Company (Muskegon, Michigan). They are American manufacturers of various products that are subject to antidumping and/or countervailing duty orders.