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ITC to continue methionine dumping investigations

Panel unanimously agrees to continue investigations into imports of methionine from France, Japan and Spain.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determined Sept. 14 that "there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of methionine from France, Japan and Spain that are allegedly sold in the U.S. at less than fair value."

According to the ITC announcement, chair Jason E. Kearns, vice chair Randolph J. Stayin and commissioners David S. Johanson, Rhonda K. Schmidtlein and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the commission’s affirmative determinations, ITC said the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) will continue its investigations into imports of methionine from France, Japan and Spain, with its preliminary antidumping duty determinations due on or about Jan. 5, 2021.

ITC’s unanimous decision to proceed follows an investigation by the commission in response to antidumping petitions filed by Novus on July 29 requesting that ITC and DOC formally investigate methionine imports from France, Spain and Japan, consistent with the World Trade Organization Antidumping Agreement, according to an announcement from Novus.

Novus said the petitions include "information regarding the increase in methionine imports from 2017 to 2019 that led to substantial price depression and harm to the domestic methionine industry."

Ed Galo, Novus vice president and chief commercial officer–Americas, said, “Fair and competitive trade practices are critical to the health of our industry. This decision shows that the evidence Novus presented is worth investigating further to ensure the domestic industry is protected from unfair trade practices.”

DOC is expected to announce its preliminary determinations in January 2021, Novus said, adding that a final determination should be announced by July 2021. This timeline may adjust depending on the course of the investigations.

The final phase of ITC’s investigation is expected to begin around March 2021 and will conclude with its final determination regarding the injury or threat of injury to the U.S. methionine industry from unfairly traded methionine imports, Novus explained.

"If ITC reaches a final determination that low-priced methionine imports have caused injury to the domestic industry, and if [the Commerce Department] does determine that France, Spain and Japan illegally dumped foreign products, importers from those countries may have to pay a duty on methionine imports, which would be collected by the government as a tax," Novus said in its announcement.

When Novus filed its petitions in July, it noted that the volume of methionine imports into the U.S. from the three countries increased by more than 200% from 2017 to 2019 and another 29% between the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.

"Access to domestically produced methionine is critical for U.S. animal protein producers. Illegal dumping can result in the reduction or elimination of domestic production. The animal protein industry benefits from having domestic and foreign supply options available," Novus said in a July 29 statement.

ITC said its public report -- "Methionine from France, Japan & Spain" [Inv. Nos. 731-TA-1534-1536 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 5120, September 2020] -- will contain the commission's views and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available after Oct. 13, 2020; when available, it may be accessed on the ITC website at www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library.

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