Grains Council considers response to China’s anti-dumping case

By Holly Jessen | January 06, 2011

The U.S. Grains Council  is preparing for an industry-wide response to China’s anti-dumping investigation of U.S. distiller's dried grains with and without solubles. Since the announcement was made Dec. 28 USGC has been working around the clock, speaking to industry constituents about registering as interested parties in the case before the mid-January deadline. “That time frame is obviously very short and puts quite a lot of pressure on the industry to respond,” said Rebecca Bratter, USGC director of trade development, in a press conference held Jan. 6.

Any U.S. company interested in being part of a registration process should contact USGC by close of business on Jan. 7 and complete and submit a form by close of business on Jan. 10. Registering as an interested party is a sign of respect and cooperation in the case, Bratter said. In addition, those that register would be assessed a lower duty on imported distillers grains, should the Chinese government decide to increase it from the current level of 5 percent. China could increase this duty at any time to levels as high as 40 to 50 percent for registered parties or upwards of 100 percent for unregistered parties. “We understand the consequences,” she said. “We know what the stakes are for registering or not registering, we know that this is just the first step of what’s going to be a long process.”

Bratter said there are two parts to the case, the investigation of injury and dumping. On the injury side, all companies involved in the distillers grains business can register and will be asked to complete a questionnaire. The USGC would hire legal representation to facilitate that registration process. The dumping investigation, however, would involve registration of a smaller number of companies, which would hire their own legal representation, she said. The injury investigation could take about six months. The dumping investigation is a year-long process, although the Chinese government can extend it six months.

In the meantime, USGC will maintain its office in China, where it has worked for more than 25 years, said Thomas Dorr, president and CEO of USGC. Although the anti-dumping charge represents a challenge could potentially be very disruptive for the industry, Dorr believes the issue will be resolved and ultimately will have little impact on the relationship that exists between the U.S. and China. “We certainly want to see this resolved in the most expedient manner possible,” he said.

The distiller's grains industry isn’t the only one China has hit with an anti-dumping investigation. On Dec. 23, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced it would investigate the European Union, the U.S. and Japan for dumping photographic paper and paper board.