AFTER SCHUMER’S PUSH, THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION HAS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO KEEP IN PLACE CRITICAL RULE, WHICH PROTECTS CATHEDRAL CANDLE IN SYRACUSE AGAINST UNFAIRLY CHEAP CHINESE PRODUCTS THAT COULD PUT LOCAL JOBS AT RISK
Previously, The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Said It Would Review Duties Against Chinese Candle Makers This Year; Chinese Companies Have Persistently Attempted to Evade U.S. Customs Duties – Industry Evidence Shows That in 2015, The Chinese Government Began Increasing Export Rebates & Are Attempting to Find New Ways To Dump Candles Into The U.S. Market
After Schumer Petitioned The Feds In March to Protect U.S. Producers Like Cathedral, The ITC Unanimously Voted To Uphold Critical Duties That Will Keep Unfairly Prices Candles Out Of The U.S. Market
Schumer: Duties That Protect Cathedral Candle Will Not Melt Away
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that, following his push, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted unanimously to protect American candle making jobs that were being put at risk by the unfair trade practices. Schumer explained that, currently, the U.S. imposes duties on candles producers from China, who have attempted to undermine domestic producers like Cathedral Candle. These duties have helped combat dumping by Chinese companies. However, the ITC announced that it would be reviewing the duty order on petroleum wax candles from China this year to decide whether or not the duty order should be revoked. Schumer argued that, if the duty order were revoked, Cathedral Candle of Syracuse, which employs 70 workers at its facility on Kirkpatrick Street, would be unfairly undermined by a flood of artificially cheap Chinese candle imports. Schumer said the ITC’s unanimous vote to reinstate this duty order is good news for U.S. producers like Cathedral Candle, because industry evidence shows that domestic producers would be put at a severe disadvantage if unfairly priced candles were to enter the U.S. market without a high duty in place.
“This unanimous ruling is great news for Cathedral Candle and the City of Syracuse – which has a long and storied past as a candle making city. We could not afford to let this all melt away because rapacious trade cheats like the companies from China refuse to play by the rules,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why I went to bat for Syracuse and pushed the ITC to expedite its review of this duty order to prevent Chinese companies from undermining American producers like Cathedral Candle. Rather than making it easier for Chinese candle exporters to undermine our producers, these duties will be kept in place to prevent a flood of cheap imports that would put these local jobs at risk.”
“We know that despite the dedication of our highly skilled employees and our constant investment in equipment, facilities improvements and efficiencies, we would not be able to effectively compete against products that were dumped into the US market at unfair prices. The continuation of an effective, Antidumping Duty Order on imported candles from China, helps to establish a “level playing field” for us to compete in,” said Lou Steigerwald III, President of Cathedral Candle Company. “Cathedral Candle Company and its employees are grateful and would like to thank Senator Schumer for his petitioning of Commerce and the ITC on behalf of the New York and American candle industry and his determined persistence to work toward that “level playing field” when it comes to trade with China.”
In March, Schumer wrote a letter to the ITC urging the agency to reinstate this duty order. According to the U.S. industry reports, importers of candles from China have a history of attempting to evade this Duty Order and continue to attempt to evade U.S. duties. Additionally, in 2015, the Chinese government began increasing its export rebates in an attempt to unfairly boost their candle exports. Schumer therefore said the ITC must carefully consider the arguments made by the domestic industry to conduct an expedited review of this Duty Order and to retain the Order, to ensure a level playing field for domestic candle producers.
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 Chinese dumping of candles in the U.S. market. The duties – currently set at 108 percent – have gone a long way towards protecting the remaining U.S. candle manufacturers, including Cathedral Candle Company, from further harm, and in keeping manufacturing jobs in this industry in the United States and in the state of New York. In 2010, Commerce and the ITC reconsidered the imposition of antidumping duties to imported Chinese candles and concluded that termination of the duties would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and economic harm to the U.S. candle industry. As a result, in January 2011, protections for U.S. candle makers were continued.
Schumer explained that the ITC announced it would be reviewing the existing antidumping Duty Order this year, as it does every five years. Therefore, Schumer said that because the Chinese industry failed to enter submissions for the ITC’s sunset proceeding, the ITC should conduct an expedited review, which would help to ensure that the Duty Order stays in place. Chinese candle companies have previously attempted to cheat the anti-dumping system in a variety of ways. They previously created a bureaucratic backlog in the U.S. by flooding the Commerce Department with requests as to which candles are subject to dumping duties, draining resources away from trade rule enforcement. Some manufacturers have even gone as far as to ship candles to the U.S. without wicks to change their import classification, and even intentionally mislabeling the country of origin.
Schumer said these types of predatory trade tactics, employed by both foreign governments and producers, must not be allowed to undermine U.S. manufacturers like Cathedral Candle and their workers. Schumer said it is increasingly difficult for small companies like Cathedral Candle to compete with foreign competitors who seek to expand their U.S. market share through predatory pricing practices, and the U.S. must therefore be tireless in its efforts to protect these American manufacturers and employers. Schumer therefore urged the ITC to carefully consider the arguments made by the domestic industry to conduct an expedited review of this Duty Order and to retain the Order.
A copy of Senator Schumer’s original letter to the ITC appears below:
Dear Chairman Broadbent:
I write in support of the National Candle Association’s submissions regarding the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) recently initiated fourth 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 industry to conduct an expedited review of this Duty Order and to retain the Order, to ensure a level playing field for domestic candle producers. We must be tireless in our efforts to protect American manufacturers and their workers from unfair foreign trade practices.
America’s religious candle making industry began in Syracuse, New York, and since 1897, the Cathedral Candle Company has produced candles in Syracuse for many of America’s churches. While the company has invested in improved technology and has expanded over time, Cathedral Candle’s original factory remains the core of its expanded manufacturing facility and employs 70 workers on Kirkpatrick Street.
Cathedral Candle, as a member of National Candle Association, has informed me that the anti-dumping Duty Order on imports of petroleum wax candles from China protects them from economic harm and market share loss and that it has been vital to their continued presence in New York. The National Candle Association asserts that China’s producers continue to attempt to evade this Duty Order, often through trans-shipment. As of January 2015, China’s government increased their export rebate on candles from 13 to 17 percent in an attempt to boost candle exports. The National Candle Association cites these predatory trade practices as evidence that the revocation of the Duty Order would harm the domestic industry. Predatory foreign business tactics must not be allowed to undermine U.S. manufacturers like Cathedral Candle and their workers. It is increasingly difficult for small companies like Cathedral Candle to compete with foreign competitors who seek to expand their U.S. market share through predatory pricing practices.
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 the Chinese industry failed to enter submissions for the ITC’s sunset proceeding, and therefore the ITC should conduct an expedited review.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. We must do all we can to protect candle producers and their workers across the country from predatory foreign trade practices. I look forward to your response.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
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