On July 21, 2016, Lion Elastomers LLC and East West Copolymers filed antidumping (AD) petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), regarding Emulsion Styrene Butadiene Rubber (ESBR) from Brazil, Korea, Mexico and Poland. According to the petitions, over 70 percent of ESBR is used for new rubber tires. It is also used in a variety of other products, including conveyor belts, shoe soles, some kinds of hoses, roller coverings, and flooring. ESBR is used as an alternative to natural rubber.

The U.S. AD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States at less than “normal value.” For AD duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping is occurring, but also that there is “material injury” (or threat thereof) by reason of the dumped imports. Importers are liable for any potential AD duties imposed. In addition, these investigations could impact purchasers, by either increasing prices, and/or decreasing supply, of ESBR.

Note the U.S. industry filed antidumping petitions in 1998 on ESBR from Brazil, Korea, and Mexico. Although the DOC found dumping margins, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a negative final determination on injury and threat of injury, so the DOC did not impose any AD orders on this product.

Scope:

The petitioners propose the following scope of investigation:

For purposes of this investigation, the product covered is emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESBR), regardless of form. ESBR consists of cold non-pigmented rubbers and cold oil extended non-pigmented rubbers that contain at least one percent of organic acids from the emulsion polymerization process.

ESBR is produced and sold in accordance with a generally accepted set of product specifications issued by the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP). The scope of the investigation covers grades of ESBR included in the IISRP 1500 and 1700 series of synthetic rubbers. The 1500 grades are light in color and are often described as “Clear” or “White Rubber.” The 1700 grades are oil-extended and thus darker in color, and are often called “Brown Rubber.” Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are products which are manufactured by blending ESBR with other polymers, high styrene resin master batch, carbon black master batch (i.e., IISRP 1600 series and 1800 series) and latex (an intermediate product).

The products subject to this investigation are currently classifiable under subheadings 4002.19.0015 and 4002.19.0019 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). ESBR is described by Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) Registry No. 9003-55-8. This CAS number also refers to other types of styrene butadiene rubber. Although the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this investigation is dispositive.

Alleged Dumping Margins:

Petitioner alleges dumping margins as follows:

  • Brazil – 59.3 percent to 69.4 percent
  • Korea – 22.4 percent to 44.2 percent
  • Mexico – 23.2 percent
  • Poland – 40.4 percent to 44.8 percent

Estimated Schedule of Investigations:

July 21, 2016 – Petitions are filed

August 10, 2016 – DOC initiates AD investigations

August 11, 2016 – ITC staff conference (estimated)

September 6, 2016 – Deadline for ITC preliminary injury determination

December 28, 2016 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if deadline is not postponed

February 16, 2017 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if deadline is fully postponed

July 3, 2017 – Deadline for DOC final AD determination, if both preliminary and final AD determinations are fully postponed

August 17, 2017 – Deadline for ITC final injury determination, assuming fully postponed DOC deadlines