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US close to limiting imports of xanthan gum from China

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-30 14:01

WASHINGTON - The US Commerce Department on Wednesday announced its affirmative final determination in duty investigations against xanthan gum from China and Austria.

The move increases the possibility of imposing punitive duties on the products.

The Commerce Department claimed that Chinese producers and exporters sold xanthan gum in the US market at dumping margins ranging from 15.09 percent to 154.07 percent. And those from Austria were sold at dumping margins of 29.98 percent.

Imports of xanthan gum from China and Austria were valued at an estimated $82.4 million and $30.5 million in 2012, respectively, according to the Commerce Department.

Punitive duties would be imposed after both the Commerce Department and the US International Trade Commission (USITC) make affirmative final rulings. USITC is scheduled to make its final determination on or before July 12, 2013.

If the result affirms that the products cause material injury or threat to the US industry, the US Commerce Department will issue antidumping duty orders. If the USITC makes a negative determination, the investigations will be terminated.

The petitioner for the investigation is CP Kelco US, Inc based in Atlanta, Georgia, one of the remaining two US producers of xanthan gum.

Xanthan gum is used as a thickener and stabilizer in three major sectors, i.e. food and beverage products, consumer goods and pharmaceutical products, and oilfield and industrial use.

The US move came at a time when protectionism is making a comeback in America amid a sluggish economic recovery. It is widely believed that such actions would hurt US-China trade relations that are increasingly critical to the global recovery.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged the United States to abide by its commitment against protectionism and work together with China and other members of the international community to maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.

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