May 8, 2001
Washington, DC-- The U.S. honey industry, battling for its life against huge amounts of unfairly traded, low-priced honey from Argentina and China, applauded the announcement of antidumping duties on imports from the two countries. As determined by the Department of Commerce, the preliminary antidumping duties for Argentine exporters range between 50% and 61%, and the duties for Chinese exporters range between 37% and 184%. The duties are now being imposed on all honey imports from the two named countries. For all but five Chinese exporters, Commerce will retroactively impose antidumping duties to February because these exporters surged imports into the United States prior to Commerce’s preliminary determination in order to beat the imposition of the duties.
The announcement is the next step in an unfair trade action filed with the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission (ITC) by the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) and the Sioux Honey Association (SHA).
According to AHPA President Richard Adee, whose organization represents about 800 domestic beekeepers, “The livelihoods of AHPA members depend on being able to sell their raw honey at a profit in our own market. The Commerce Department in essence confirmed what we claimed in our petition: that Argentine and Chinese honey is being sold here at prices far below the cost of producing the product in those countries. This is the definition of dumping, which is against U.S. trade law and the rules of world trade as set forth by the World Trade Organization.”
Said SHA President Jerry Probst, “There is no way the hundreds of domestic honey producers who belong to the Sioux Honey Association can compete with the Chinese and Argentina governments and exporters, whose unfair trade practices enable their honey producers to dominate our market with below cost pricing. We are counting on the U.S.government and our unfair trade laws to right the wrong and save this important industry. We are gratified with today’s decision by the Department of Commerce.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce found that the government of Argentina unfairly subsidized its honey industry, resulting in a 7% tariff – known as a countervailing duty – on imports. Commerce will now being the final phase of its antidumping duty investigation. Concurrently, the ITC will begin the final phase of its injury investigation. Final determinations from both agencies will be issued before the end of the year.
The AHPA and the SHA are represented by the Washington, D.C. law firm of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, and Georgetown Economic Services, the firm’s economic consulting subsidiary. International trade attorney Michael J. Coursey, a partner at Kelley Drye, heads the legal and economic team.