The federal government has approved preliminary duties on imports of a Chinese specialty fabric that allegedly have been dumped into the U.S. market, undercutting American-made products at places such as Auburn Manufacturing. The duties approved by U.S. Department of Commerce will take effect on products that have been imported into the country going back to June at a rate of 162 percent of the declared value.
This is a really big win, Kathie Leonard, president and CEO of Auburn Manufacturing, said. It shows just how many subsidies have been going to Chinese manufacturers from their government.
U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who worked with the rest of Maineâ€™s congressional delegation to help Auburn Manufacturing bring its case to the Department of Commerce, said at the news conference that the preliminary ruling helps â€œcreate a level playing fieldâ€ for manufacturers.
Poliquin said that China illegally subsidizes their manufacturing such that theyâ€™re able to sell their product over here and dump their product here; it hurts Auburn Manufacturing and other companies. The fact that these duties are so high shows how much these Chinese companies and the Chinese government has violated international law.
Auburn Manufacturing produces amorphous silica fabric, a fireproof material that is used in welding and other manufacturing, and employs about 40 people in Auburn and Mechanic Falls. Chinese dumping has cost the company about 30 percent of its market share for the specialty fabric over the last three years and has caused them to cut back the companyâ€™s workforce by about 20 percent over the last year.
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