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New Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions on Certain Paper Shopping Bags From Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam

On May 31, 2023, the Coalition for Fair Trade in Shopping Bags filed antidumping duty (AD) petitions on certain paper shopping bags from Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam. The Coalition also filed countervailing duty (CVD) petitions on certain paper shopping bags from China and India.

The Coalition and its individual members allege that imports of in-scope paper bags from all nine countries are injuring the US domestic industry because they are sold in the United States for less than “normal value” and that imports from China and India are unfairly subsidized.

The Coalition requests the imposition of significant AD/CVD duties between 12.51% to 324.24% ad valorem. AD/CVD duties will be imposed if the US Department of Commerce (DOC) determines that such alleged dumping is occurring and if the US International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that there is “material injury” (or the threat thereof) by reason of the dumped or subsidized imports.

If the investigations are affirmative, importers of in-scope paper bags from the countries above will be liable for any potential AD and/or CVD duties imposed. These investigations may also impact US purchasers via increased prices or decreased supplies of certain paper bags. Imports of paper bags from China are also currently subject to Section 301 (List 3) duties.   

Scope of Investigations

Per the petition, the scope of these investigations covers paper shopping bags with handles of any type, regardless of whether there is any printing, regardless of how the top edges are finished (e.g., folded, serrated, or otherwise), and regardless of whether the tops can be sealed. Subject paper shopping bags have a width of at least 4.5 inches and a depth of at least 2.5 inches.

Excluded from the scope are:

  • Multiwall sacks and bags;
  • Paper sacks or bags that are of a 1/6- or 1/7-barrel size (i.e., 11.5-12.5 inches in width, 6.5-7.5 inches in depth, and 13.5-17.5 inches in height) with flat paper handles;
  • Paper sacks or bags with die-cut handles, a standard basis paper weight of less than 38 pounds, and a height of less than 11.5 inches;
  • Shopping bags (i) with non-paper handles made wholly of woven ribbon or other similar woven fabric and (ii) that are finished with folded tops or for which tied knots or t-bar aglets (made of wood, metal, or plastic) are used to secure the handles to the bags; and
  • Gift bags marked for retail sale that are physically bundled into the saleable unit prior to importation such that each bundled unit is composed of no less than three individual bags and no more than 30 individual bags.

Although not dispositive, the proposed in-scope certain paper bags are classified under US Harmonized Tariff Schedule subheadings 4819.30.0040 and 4819.40.0040.

Alleged AD Margins

The Coalition alleges the following dumping margins exist:

  • Cambodia – 44.29% to 221.36%
  • China – 133.80% to 324.24%
  • Colombia – 65.04%
  • India – 88.56%
  • Malaysia – 173.38%
  • Portugal – 26.71% to 204.54%
  • Taiwan – 44.76% to 50.13%
  • Turkey – 12.51% to 45.29%
  • Vietnam – 63.67% to 128.81%

Estimated Key Dates of Interest to Exporters and Importers

The following are estimated key dates for these investigations, once initiated by the DOC and the ITC:

Initial Deadlines:
ITC Preliminary Injury Phase

approx. June 14, 2023 – ITC questionnaire responses will be due.

June 21, 2023 – ITC Preliminary Staff Conference

July 17, 2023 – ITC Preliminary injury determinations

DOC Initiation Date

June 20, 2023

DOC Preliminary
AD Determinations

November 7, 2023 - AD preliminary determination
The preliminary determination deadline can be extended.

Commerce Preliminary CVD Determinations

August 24, 2023 - CVD preliminary determination
The preliminary determination deadline can be extended.

Earliest Suspension of Liquidation (theoretical)

June 20, 2023 – Subject to both affirmative critical circumstances finding by ITC and DOC.

© 2023 ArentFox Schiff LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 152

About this Author

Nancy A. Noonan International Trade Lawyer Washington DC ArentFoxSchiff

Nancy handles proceedings under the international trade and customs laws of the United States and under the US’ immigration and nationality laws.

Regarding international trade and customs matters, Nancy has represented a wide variety of clients in antidumping, countervailing duty, Section 201, Section 232 and Section 301 proceedings before the US Department of Commerce, the US International Trade Commission, US Customs and Border Protection, and the Office of the US Trade Representative. She also counsels clients on trade dispute issues arising...

Leah Scarpelli Associate ArentFox Schiff LLP

Leah advises U.S. and foreign corporations, associations, and governments on a variety of international trade and customs matters, including trade remedies and import compliance.

Leah specializes in trade policy issues, such as the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China and the EU, and the negotiation of trade agreements. She also counsels clients on global trade strategies and export compliance.

Leah works with clients in diverse sectors, including the automotive,...

International Trade Attorney Jessica DiPietro Washington DC

Jessica’s practice focuses on trade remedy actions, including antidumping and countervailing duty matters before the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission. She also advocates for clients in related litigation before the US Court of International Trade and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Client Work

  • Represent clients in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings before the US International Trade Commission, the US Department of Commerce in administrative...

Yun Gao International Trade Attorney ArentFox Schiff

Yun  Gao is an Attorney in ArentFox Schiff's International Trade practice and a member of the Forced Labor Task Force.

Yun’s practice is focused on trade remedies and customs laws.  Yun represents clients in a variety of international trade matters including anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty, Section 232 and Section 301 duties before the Department of Commerce, the U.S. International Trade Committee, and the U.S. Trade Representatives. 

Yun also advises companies on customs compliance matters, including tariff...

Diana Dimitriuc Quaia  International Trade Attorney Washington DC ArentFoxSchiff

Diana has a broad-based international trade practice with a focus on trade litigation and international dispute settlement litigation.

Diana provides advice to corporations and foreign governments on trade law and policy, litigation, and administrative proceedings. She represents and advises clients in trade remedy cases in the United States, such as antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings, global safeguard actions under Section 201, national security measures under Section 232, as well as Section 337 proceedings. Diana is well versed in...