US extends antidumping duty on saccharin from China

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: World trade organization, International trade

The United States has extended an antidumping duty order on saccharin from China, after a review concluded that cheaper imports of the sweetener would damage the domestic market.

Effective yesterday, the notice published by the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission extends the status quo for the next five years.

The antidumping order was first introduced in the US in 2003 after the Ohio-based company PMC Specialties Group, which claims to be the sole domestic producer of saccharin in the US, filed a trade petition. This claimed that saccharin producers from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) "dumped"​ their products in the US at prices lower than the normal value in China.

Domestic protection

Last June, the Department of Commerce initiated a sunset review of the antidumping duty order on saccharin.

“As a result of its review, the Department determined that revocation of the antidumping duty order on saccharin from the PRC would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and, therefore, notified the ITC of the magnitude of the margins likely to prevail should the order be revoked,”​ it wrote.

Last week, ITC concluded that the revocation of the duty “would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable future.”

Antidumping duties can protect domestic companies from predatory pricing by companies overseas. However, it can also reduce competition in the domestic market.

Orders are revoked after five years unless it is determined that a recurrence of “dumping”​ would damage the domestic market.

Saccharin market

Saccharin is a popular sweetener used in beverages and foods such as cakes, confectionery, dressings, processed fruit and biscuits.

Government restrictions on Chinese output and the imposition of anti-dumping duties in the US have prevented growth in the saccharin market, which faces strong competition from alternative sweeteners, according to the UK-based consultancy Leatherhead Food International.

It said that Chinese products have flooded the international market in recent years adding pricing pressure to an already low-cost product and value sales of saccharin are under $100m.

In the US more expensive products such as aspartame sucralose and acesulfame-K have become more popular and saccharin usage remains relatively low.

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