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In 2015, China Increased Export Rebates & Attempted To Find New Ways To Dump Candles Into The U.S. Market; U.S. Protected Domestic Candle Industry Then, But Protections Were Due to Sunset This Year

Schumer Fought To Ensure These Protections For Domestic Candle Makers Like Cathedral Candle Were Expedited And Didn’t Melt Away; Protecting Jobs Like Those At Cathedral Candle

Schumer: Cathedral Candle Can Continue To Burn Bright with A Level Playing Field For The U.S. Candle Industry

After lighting a fire under the International Trade Commission (ITC) to take action again to protect American candle making jobs like those at Syracuse’s Cathedral Candle, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced the ITC has heeded his call and will re-impose duties on foreign candle producers, like those from China, who have attempted to undermine domestic candle producers with unfair dumping and predatory trade tactics.

“Cathedral Candle has led the religious candle making industry since 1897, and these renewed protections will ensure its presence on the Northside of Syracuse continues to burn bright,” said Senator Schumer. “I am thankful the ITC has heeded my call and stopped this critical provisions from sun setting. These reinstated duty orders will keep candle making jobs in the U.S., prevent foreign producers from undermining great NY companies like Cathedral Candle, and make sure this artisanal craft work with deep local history does not melt away. “

“For these past 125 years likely the largest threat we, and all of the US candle producers have confronted was the threat created by the dumping of candles made in China into the US marketplace creating an enormously uneven playing field. We are still here because the Government, with Senator Schumer’s support, has acted to stop unfairly traded Chinese candle imports,” said Louis Steigerwald III, President of Cathedral Candle Company. “No matter what the product might be, including candles, Senator Schumer has had a long history of doing what he can to ensure the US manufacturer plays on a level playing field particularly when it comes to imports from China entering the US marketplace. We greatly appreciate Sen. Schumer’s support of Cathedral Candle Company and all US candle producers.  He has always responded to our asks for help and support.”

For almost 125 years, Cathedral Candle Company has been making high quality church candles in Syracuse.  Cathedral currently employs over 70 of the world’s finest candle craftsmen and craftswomen, dedicated to the product they produce.  They provide candles to churches throughout the United States.

Schumer said that the reinstatement of this duty order is important because industry evidence has shown that China’s producers would flood the market with artificially cheap candles if the duty order was revoked. According to the U.S. industry reports, China’s candle exporters and U.S. importers have a history of attempting to evade this Duty Order and continue to attempt to evade U.S. duties imposed on candles from China. In 2015, the Chinese government began increasing its export rebates in an attempt to unfairly boost their candle exports. Additionally, recent trends in candle imports from China into the European Union (EU) and Mexico, which revoked their anti-dumping orders in 2015 and 2011 respectively, show significant increases in unfairly traded candles. In fact, Mexico has seen a 600% surge in candle imports from China over the last decade after revoking its own duty order. The senator said these indicators prove the need for continued protections for American candle makers.

The process of dumping occurs when a foreign producer sells a product in the U.S. at a price that is below that producer’s sales price in its home market, or at a price that is lower than the cost of production. As a result of a previous investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the ITC, antidumping duties were imposed to offset dumping of candles from China in the U.S. market. Schumer said the reinstated duty orders will protect U.S. candle manufacturers, including Cathedral Candle Company, keeping manufacturing jobs in this industry in the United States and in the state of New York.

A Copy of Senator Schumer’s original letter to the ITC appears below:

Dear Chairman Kearns,

I write in support of the National Candle Association's submissions regarding the U.S. International Trade Commission's (ITC) recently initiated fifth Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on petroleum wax candles from China. On behalf of candle producers in New York and across the country, I urge the ITC to carefully consider the arguments made by the domestic candle industry to conduct an expedited review of this Duty Order, as well as to retain the Order to ensure a level playing field for domestic candle producers.

America's religious candle making industry has its origins in Syracuse, New York. Since 1897, the family-owned and operated Cathedral Candle Company has produced candles in Syracuse for many of America's churches nationwide. While the company has invested in improved technology and grown its business over time, Cathedral Candle's original factory remains the core of its expanded manufacturing facility and currently employs 70 workers on Kirkpatrick Street.

Cathedral Candle, a member of the National Candle Association, has informed me that the antidumping Duty Order on imported petroleum wax candles from China protects the business from economic harm and loss of market share, and that it has been vital to their continued presence and expansion in New York.  China’s candle industry is large and export-oriented, and the Chinese government has targeted the sector for growth through measures aimed at boosting candle exports. The country’s candle manufacturers are eligible for a 13% export rebate, the highest export rebate currently available in China. At the same time, the Chinese government has also set a minimum production level for their domestic petroleum industry, from which petroleum wax candles are derived.

According to the National Candle Association, candle exporters in China continue to attempt to evade this Duty Order, often through illegal transshipment. It is my understanding that U.S. candle producers have seen shipping boxes of candles made in factories in China with false country-of-origin labels. These harmful circumvention measures have the effect of undermining the Order, eroding the critical protections it provides for American candle manufacturers – like Cathedral Candle – and their workers.

Furthermore, recent trends in candles imported from China into the European Union (EU) and Mexico may be indicative of the likelihood of increased imports into the U.S. market if the existing Duty Order is not maintained. Since the EU has revoked its antidumping duty order against candles from China in 2015, European candle producers have seen a significant increase in imported candles, as well as severe price depression. Mexico similarly revoked its own antidumping order at the end of 2011, and the country has experienced a surge in candle imports from China of more than 600% over the last decade.

The National Candle Association cites these aforementioned predatory trade practices and concerns as evidence that the revocation of the Duty Order would significantly harm the domestic industry and, at minimum, allow imports to surge to previously seen levels.  We cannot allow unfair foreign business tactics to undermine U.S. candle manufacturers and their workers, particularly as it is increasingly difficult for small companies like Cathedral Candle to compete with larger foreign competitors. These efforts to protect the domestic industry from predatory trade practices are even more critical as U.S. manufacturers continue to weather and recover from this unprecedented economic crisis.

For these reasons, I respectfully urge the ITC to consider the domestic candle industry's request to conduct an expedited Sunset Review of the existing Antidumping Duty Order on candles from China.  The National Candle Association asserts that responses to the ITC's notice of institution of the Sunset Review are inadequate, as members of the industry in China failed to enter submissions for the ITC's sunset proceeding, and the agency should therefore conduct an expedited review.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter of importance to Cathedral Candle and the domestic candle industry, and I look forward to your response.