US rules in favor of duties on locally produced brighteners


WASHINGTON — A U.S. trade panel approved anti-dumping duties on steel nails from the United Arab Emirates and optical brightening agents from China and Taiwan on Thursday. The U.S. International Trade Commission voted 6-0 in both cases that U.S. producers had been materially injured or threatened with material injury by the imports. The two cases were among a group of five filed over of the course of two days last year. Earlier this week, the ITC rejected duties on refrigerators from South Korea and Mexico and steel wheels from China.

The panel will vote on Monday in the fifth case involving imports of steel wire from China and Mexico. The decision on the steel nails is a victory for Mid Continent Nail Corp, a Missouri-based firm that says it is the largest supplier of fasteners to the wooden pallet and crating industry in the United States. Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department set anti-dumping duties ranging from 2.8 percent to nearly 185 percent on steel nail imports from the UAE. With the ITC vote, those will now soon go into force. The U.S. imported about US$120 million worth of nails from the UAE in 2011, up from US$50.1 million two years earlier. Clariant Corp, based in North Carolina, brought the case against imports of brightening agents from China and Taiwan. The Commerce Department last month set anti-dumping duties ranging from 63.98 to 109.95 percent on imports from China and 6.20 percent from Taiwan. The United States imported about US$39 million worth of brighteners from China last year and US$19 million from Taiwan.