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US seeks sanctions on Chinese R134a

9006603_lUSA: US refrigerant manufacturers and suppliers have filed anti-dumping petitions on Chinese R134a imports.

The American HFC Coalition claims that large and increasing volumes of low-priced imports from China are causing material injury to the US fluorochemicals industry. Chinese R134a imports are said to have increased by more than 35% from 2013 to 2015, and continue to steadily increase.

In the petition, which was filed with both the United States Department of Commerce and the United States International Trade Commission (USITC), the HFC Coalition alleges dumping margins ranging from 150% to over 200%.

The HFC Coalition is made up of a number of companies involved in the refrigerants business, including Honeywell, Chemours, Mexichem and Arkema, along with US refrigerant repacker Hudson Technologies and cylinder manufacturers Amtrol and Worthington Cylinders.

Last year the Coalition filed a similar anti-dumping petition on Chinese imports of a range of HFCs and HFC blends including R410A, R404A and R32. In a preliminary determination, the US Department of Commerce has called for anti-dumping duties of up to 210%. That decision is now awaiting confirmation from the US International Trade Commission.

Cheap Chinese imports of R134a were the subject of an earlier unilateral petition from Mexichem. That petition, in 2013, claimed dumping duties of 280.67% but this was eventually overruled by the US International Trade Commission who decided that the import of Chinese R134a did not harm US industry.

The new R134a petition seeks the imposition of antidumping duties to level the playing field, particularly in the aftermarket for automotive air conditioning.

“China has constructed sufficient HFC capacity to supply its own market as well as the entire US market four-times over,” the Coalition says in its petition.

“Without relief from unfair trade, the US industry will be unable to continue investing in US production of refrigerants,” it adds.

The action is expected to take 9-13 months to complete, with a preliminary determination imposing antidumping duty deposits within approximately six months.

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