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U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty Investigation of Imports of 4th Tier Cigarettes from Korea

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the initiation of a new antidumping duty (AD) investigation to determine whether 4th tier cigarettes from Korea are being dumped in the United States at less than fair value.

The petitioner is the Coalition Against Korean Cigarettes, whose members are Xcaliber International (Pryor, OK) and Cheyenne International (Grover, NC).

The alleged dumping margins range from 7.10 to 113.06 percent.

If Commerce makes an affirmative finding in this investigation, and if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped imports of 4th tier cigarettes from Korea are causing injury to the U.S. industry, Commerce will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping found to exist.

In 2018, imports of cigarettes from Korea were valued at an estimated $72.9 million.

Click HERE for a fact sheet on this initiation.

Next Steps:

During Commerce’s investigation into whether 4th tier cigarettes from Korea are being dumped, the ITC will conduct its own investigation into whether the U.S. industry and its workforce are being harmed by such imports. The ITC will make its preliminary determination on or before February 3, 2020. If the ITC preliminarily determines that there is injury or threat of injury, then Commerce’s investigation will continue, with the preliminary determination scheduled for May 26, 2020, unless this deadline is extended.

If Commerce preliminarily determines that dumping is occurring, then it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all U.S. companies importing 4th tier cigarettes from Korea.

The final determination by Commerce in this case is scheduled for August 10, 2020, but this date may be extended. If Commerce finds that products are not being dumped, or the ITC finds in its final determination that there is no harm to the U.S. industry, then the investigation will be terminated and no duties will be applied.

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 188 new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 189 percent increase from the comparable period in the previous administration.

Antidumping and countervailing duty laws provide American businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of the unfair pricing of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 515 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade law and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international rules and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.

Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to antidumping duties. Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments, such as grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks, or production inputs, are subject to countervailing duties aimed at directly countering those subsidies.

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