The American HFC (hydrofluorocarbons) Coalition announced that on March 23, The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) found that imports of R-134a are causing or threatening to cause material injury to the U.S. industry producing R-134a. In a news release, the American HFC Coalition stated the decision follows a year-long investigation by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, which found that imports of R-134a from China were being dumped in the U.S. market at prices below fair value. On Feb. 22, 2017, Commerce announced that Chinese R-134a imports were being dumped and prescribed antidumping duties ranging from 148.79% to 167.02%.
The ITC vote means that antidumping duties ranging from 148.79% to 167.02% of the value will be imposed on all imports of R-134a from China. The American HFC Coalition stated:
The industry developed R-134a to succeed earlier-generation refrigerants without any negative impact on the ozone layer. The industry invested substantial sums to manufacture R-134a in the U.S. for [aerosol product propellants], automotive air-conditioning, stationary air-conditioning and other applications. Yet, imports from China, sold at prices far below fair value, increased by an astonishing 100 percent from 2015 to 2016, and continued to increase even after the antidumping petition was filed. As a result of the dumped imports, the U.S. industry has suffered persistently low price levels and poor operating results.
The imposition of antidumping duties is a positive step to restore conditions of fair trade in this market. With these duties in place, the R-134a U.S. manufacturers believe they can earn an adequate return on investment and continue to supply the market.