Importers Lobby for Change in Status of Chinese Producers
Lobbyists for importers encouraged the Commerce Department last week to recognize some Chinese producers as market-oriented enterprises, a distinction textile lobbyists are resisting because it could lead to lower duties in antidumping trade cases.
WASHINGTON — Lobbyists for importers encouraged the Commerce Department last week to recognize some Chinese producers as market-oriented enterprises, a distinction textile lobbyists are resisting because it could lead to lower duties in antidumping trade cases.
Antidumping laws and policies, which are intended to offset the impact of unfairly priced imports, are turning into a key front in the battle between U.S. textile producers and apparel importers.
Domestic textile companies cannot currently bring antidumping or countervailing duty cases against apparel imports, but they hope to gain broader access to such trade remedies by the time quotas on 34 types of Chinese-made goods, including cotton trousers and sweaters, expire at the end of 2008.
Headed by assistant secretary David Spooner, the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration asked the industry to weigh in on whether the department should consider granting market-economy treatment to some Chinese firms and what standard should be used.
"Although the limits the [Chinese] government has placed on the role of market forces are not consistent with recognition of China as a market economy under the U.S. antidumping law, the evolution in China's economy nevertheless has led the department to conclude that it is possible to determine whether the state has bestowed a benefit upon a Chinese producer," said Spooner, in his call for comments in May.
The deliberations come after Commerce's decision this spring to accept a countervailing duty case on glossy paper from China, reversing a 23-year-old policy against using such trade remedies on imports from non-market economies.
Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations, warned that Chinese apparel producers received a broad array of subsidies and that opening a "loophole" for certain companies to receive market status could hurt domestic manufacturers.
"NCTO believes that such a proposal is ill-conceived and would dramatically weaken our existing trade laws, trade laws upon which the domestic textile industry will be forced to rely once the U.S.-China textile bilateral agreement expires on Jan. 1, 2009," wrote Johnson in his comments.
Importers, on the other hand, saw promise that the idea offered a multitude of suggestions that, if adopted, might allow Chinese producers not directly tied to the government there to get lower duty rates in antidumping cases."J.C. Penney firmly believes that the department should adopt an approach that enables individual companies to control their fate by concentrating on criteria that are, to a great extent, within the company's ability to control," Hunton & Williams attorney Douglas Heffner wrote in comments filed on behalf of the retailer. "Such an approach would encourage Chinese companies to fully adopt market business practices."
Limiting the chance of a dramatic spike in prices as the result of an antiduty decision could help maintain stability in the sourcing market.
"They're opening a door for multinational companies that have made investments in China and Vietnam to continue to serve their customers and not have to make their investment decisions based on antidumping policy in the U.S.," said Brenda Jacobs, counsel for the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel, which also filed comments to Commerce.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye