Paper Plates Petition

The Implications of New Antidumping and Countervailing Petitions on Paper Plates from China, Thailand, and Vietnam

In the realm of international trade, recent developments have brought attention to the issue of unfair trade practices in the paper plate industry. On January 25th, the American Paper Plate Coalition (APPC), comprising AJM Packaging Corporation, Aspen Products, Inc., Dart Container Corporation, Hoffmaster Group, Inc., Huhtamaki Americas, Inc., and Unique Industries, Inc., filed antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions against paper plate imports from China, Thailand, and Vietnam. This move seeks to address alleged material injury to the domestic industry caused by unfair practices and the sale of these products at less than fair value. Let’s delve into the scope of the investigations and the potential impact on trade.

Scope of Investigations and Allegations:
The APPC claims that imports of paper plates from China, Thailand, and Vietnam not only threaten additional material injury to the US domestic industry but also benefit from countervailable subsidies. The investigations will evaluate whether these allegations hold true and determine if the dumped and/or subsidized imports are causing material injury or posing threats thereof to the US market.

Understanding the Scope:
The investigations cover a broad range of paper plates, including uncolored or colored plates, printed plates, those with surface finishes, and plates of diverse shapes and sizes. These plates may be produced from various types of paper, have different caliper or basis weights, and can be coated or uncoated. It is worth noting that the investigations will encompass paper plates that have undergone finishing, packaging, or processing in a third country, provided it does not remove them from the scope.

Exclusions and Harmonized Tariff Schedule:
Paper bowls, paper buckets, and paper food containers with closeable lids are specifically excluded from the scope of these investigations. Imports of covered paper plates from China, Thailand, and Vietnam may fall under the category of “Trays, dishes, plates, cups, and the like, of paper or paperboard” under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

Estimated Dumping Margins:
The petitioner alleges significant dumping margins for these imports, with estimates as follows:

China: 142.45% to 168.45%
Vietnam: 255.46% to 278.56%
Thailand: 36.97% to 42.89%
Key Dates to Consider for Exporters and Importers:
Both the US Department of Commerce (DOC) and the US International Trade Commission (ITC) play crucial roles in these investigations. Here are some estimated key dates to bear in mind:

ITC Preliminary Injury Phase: Approx. February 8, 2024
Commerce Initiation Date: February 14, 2024
Commerce Preliminary AD Determinations: July 3, 2024
Commerce Preliminary CVD Determinations: April 19, 2024
Earliest Suspension of Liquidation (theoretical): April 4, 2024

As the antidumping and countervailing duty petitions progress, the entire paper plate industry will be closely monitoring the investigations. If the allegations of unfair trade practices are substantiated and material injury is determined, importers of paper plates from China, Thailand, and Vietnam could face potential AD/CVD duties. As the findings unfold, it is crucial for exporters and importers to stay informed and prepare for potential changes in the industry landscape. By addressing unfair trade practices, the aim is to promote fair competition and protect the interests of the US domestic industry.


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