Taiwan to levy anti-dumping duties on Chinese towels


Wed, Jul 26, 2006 - Page 1

The government is set to impose anti-dumping duties ranging from 86.6 percent to 204.1 percent on towel imports from China for the next five years, an official at the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday.

The figures are based on the margin of dumping -- the amount by which the normal value exceeds the export price of the subject merchandise -- in a final determination report that was released by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Monday.

In the report, the finance ministry concluded that the dumping margin was 86.6 percent for Chinese manufacturers Zhejiang Twin-Lantern Home Textile Co, 88.5 percent for Kunshan Shanming Textile Co, a Taiwanese-funded company in China, and 204.1 percent for other Chinese manufacturers or exporters.

The finance ministry has sent the report to the MOEA, which will determine within 40 days whether the dumping has disrupted the local industry. The MOEA will then submit the determination to the finance ministry for a final decision by Sept. 12.

"I think we will follow the suggested margin of dumping by the finance ministry," Juan Chuan-ho (阮全和), deputy executive secretary of the International Trade Commission said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The rates are lower than the provisional anti-dumping duties that were levied on made-in-China towels starting on June 1.

In addition to the original 10.5 percent tariff, the MOF had imposed an anti-dumping duty of 107.3 percent on towels made by Zhejiang Twin-Lantern Home Textile, 109.3 percent on those of Kunshan Shanming Textile and 237.7 percent on all other towel imports from China, the highest provisional anti-dumping rate Taiwan has ever levied.

The measure has largely helped the local industry, as members of the Yunlin Towel Industrial Technology and Development Association that applied for trade protection have resumed about 80 percent of their production, according to the association's director-general Lin Kuo-lung (林國隆).

The association previously claimed that Chinese imports, which held 45.54 percent of the market in 2002, had surged rapidly to 62.48 percent in 2003 and climbed further to 70 percent in 2004, while local products' market share had dropped from 16.61 percent in 2001 to 8.42 percent in 2004. Besides the anti-dumping duty, Chinese towelmakers and exporters may get slapped with other tariffs.

The MOEA in April submitted a proposal to increase duties on Chinese towel exports to the WTO for consultations, as a safeguard measure requested by the association.

MOEA proposed imposing an NT$42 per kilogram tariff on made-in-China towels for the first year, a NT$32 per kilogram tariff for the second year and a NT$20 per kilogram tariff in the third year.

The decision on whether to impose further import-relief mechanisms will be announced after the anti-dumping rates are finalized, Juan said. Import-relief measures are applied for what is considered "fair competition," while anti-dumping measures are used to address "unfair competition," but there have been cases in which both mechanisms were simultaneously implemented, Juan said.