The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that imports of calcium hypochlorite from China are hindering domestic industry, making it official that importers must pay steep cash deposits on the product. The vote was unanimous.

The final determination comes after a yearlong investigation prompted by a petition filed by Arch Chemicals, owned by Lonza, which accused Chinese manufacturers of “depressing and suppressing” domestic market prices.

The ITC and the Department of Commerce each conducted investigations. The DOC’s investigation sought to determine if Chinese manufacturers were benefiting from government aid and selling the product at a less-than-fair value. The agency determined that the imports are unfairly priced and recommended that steep cash deposits be required of those bringing the product into the United States from China.

The ITC’s investigation centered on uncovering whether the product caused material injury to U.S. manufacturers. Its ruling on Jan. 8 gave the DOC official clearance to task the U.S. Customs and Border Protection with collecting the cash deposits from importers. As a result, the DOC issued what are called antidumping and countervailing duties on Jan. 30.

Antidumping duties require importers to pay deposits of 200.9 percent. That brings the product at a price point comparable with U.S.-made cal hypo. Countervailing duties of 65.85 percent level the playing field further by offsetting the subsidies Chinese manufacturers receive from the People’s Republic of China.

“We are very pleased with the decision of the ITC in January,” Lonza said in a statement to PSN. “The Commissioners’ unanimous affirmative vote confirms the need for antidumping and countervailing duties to address the unlawful advantage the Chinese manufacturers have obtained through government subsidies and unfair pricing.
“Our focus now is to continue supporting the U.S. government in ensuring legal compliance with the importation of these products into the U.S.”

The deposits will be in effect for at least the next five years, said Tim Truman, a spokesman with the DOC.

In the meantime, importers do have an opportunity to file a petition seeking an administrative review of the order, at which point there would be another investigation to determine whether to lift the trade restrictions.