Florida Tomato Exchange asks Commerce Department to reopen antidumping investigation

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On Monday, the Florida Tomato Exchange requested for continuation of the antidumping investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. This is surprising as the investigation was suspended on September 19, 2019, when a new suspension agreement between the Department of Commerce and Mexican growers and exporters went into effect.
The reason for the reopening of the investigation is that the Mexican tomato industry doesn’t agree with the agreement, even though they voluntarily signed the agreement last month.
While the investigation may be reopened, the suspension agreement is not automatically terminated. Once the new investigation is completed, Commerce and the International Trade Commission is tasked to determine whether or not Mexican tomatoes were dumped into the US and whether it caused injury to the US tomato industry. If there is a finding of injury, then the agreement will stay in place – if there is no finding, the agreement will be terminated.
If there is an affirmative finding, the Mexican growers have the option to withdrawal from the agreement, triggering another 90-day time frame to renegotiate before antidumping duties are imposed.
If you have any questions about this or any other antidumping and countervailing duty action, contact trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US China Trade War impact – small Ellisville cabinet firm braces for impact of trade war.

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According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a small cabinet firm in Ellisville maybe one of the victims of the ongoing trade war between the US and China. The article introduces the reader to Joe Knichel, owner of the St. Louis Cabinet Warehouse in Ellisville. He installs cabinets and frequently buys ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinet kits from a supplier that includes doors, drawers, partitions, and hardware. Joe says the main benefit of buying an RTA kit is the time frame to complete, 2 weeks versus 4 weeks for made to order cabinets. However, in April, the U.S. International Trade commission issued a preliminary ruling that American cabinet manufacturers had been injured by Chinese imports — including imports of the kits that Knichel relies upon.

The final ruling, expected in a few months, can see tariffs added to cabinets as high as 348 percent, an amount that Joe says would likely put him out of business.

The investigation into cabinets isn’t alone – the ITC has also initiated investigations of anti-dumping on over 24 other Chinese products – such as ceramic tile and crawfish tail meat.

Joe’s example is likely just one of many examples of small businesses who rely on relatively cheap imports from China for their business. We’ll likely see a greater impact in a few months as the current inventory imported without 25% 301 duties runs out, and future imports subject to 301 duties appear on the shelves.

If you have any questions about how antidumping will impact your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by call/text: 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

American Farm Bureau Federation supports Commerce Department anti-dumping investigation of Mexican tomatoes.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce will resume anti-dumping investigations into imports of Mexican tomatoes despite a previous agreement not to.

Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation indicated an anti-dumping investigation was needed because Mexican producers have increased their market share despite an agreement to ban artificially low prices.

On February 6, 2019, the Department of Commerce notified Mexico they would withdraw from the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico under a clause that the signatories may withdraw from the Agreement with “ninety days written notice to the other party”. The expiration of the 90-days is May 7, 2019.

After the withdraw on May 8th, an investigation by the Department of Commerce will continue and will send notification to the International Trade Commission of its final determination.

If you are an importer of Mexican tomatoes or want to know how this may impact you, contact antidumping duty attorney David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or by phone/text at 832.896.6288 for a no cost or obligation consultation.