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U.S. accuses China of dumping plastic bags
( 2004-01-21 09:28) (Agencies)

The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday ruled in a preliminary decision that plastic shopping bag makers in China, Malaysia and Thailand are dumping their products on the U.S. market and may require tariffs ranging from 0.12% and 122.88% to bring them to fair value.

The decision isn't yet final and these Asian makers aren't required to make any reparatory payment at this stage.

The department will continue its investigation and hand out its final ruling June 1.

A group of five U.S. plastic bag manufacturers, such as Sonoco Products Co. and Interplast Group Ltd., filed the petition last summer, asking Commerce to set dumping tariffs from 34.84% for some Thai exporters to a high 129.86% for some Chinese makers. These U.S. makers claimed that the alleged dumping cost them $300 million a year in sales.

The Tuesday ruling said that Chinese makers are selling their products below fair market values at margins that would require tariffs ranging from 0.12% to 57.09%. Malaysian plastic bags may need tariffs from 0.14% to 101.74%, and those from Thailand 2.84% to 122.88%.

In 2002, the U.S. imported about 100 billion plastic bags, of which roughly 40% reportedly came from China.

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