The U.S. government has launched an anti-dumping probe into South Korean polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in a series of protectionist trade actions under the “America First” slogan of President Donald Trump.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) said Wednesday it will start anti-dumping investigations on PET imports from Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan and Taiwan.
PET is a light, durable type of plastic used to make food containers, beverage bottles as well as polyester fiber and film.
The probe began at the request of Nan Ya Plastics and three other U.S. companies, which accused Korean PET exporters including Lotte Chemical Corp. and TK Chemical Corp. for selling at unfairly low prices and harming American businesses.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Korea’s PET exports in the first six months of this year were $60 million, up from $24 million of last year.
The anti-dumping investigation is to proceed in two stages. First the ITC will look into whether the imports have caused material harm to U.S. businesses. Then the Commerce Department will determine whether there has been dumping practice and decide on the punitive tariff rates.
The ITC plans to conclude preliminary investigations by November 13.
By Ko Jae-man
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