WASHINGTON — The U.S. International Trade Commission voted Thursday to clear the way for punitive tariffs to be imposed on woven ribbons imported from China and Taiwan, in the first trade remedy case involving textile products from China since quotas were lifted at the end of 2008.

This story first appeared in the August 13, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The vote concluded an investigation that determined China illegally subsidized and dumped “narrow woven ribbon with woven selvage” into the U.S. market. Taiwan was found to have dumped woven ribbon into the U.S. market.

Dumping happens when a foreign company sells products in the U.S. below fair market value or less than the cost of manufacturing. In cases where the ITC determines dumping has occurred, it imposes antidumping duties. Subsidies occur when a foreign government offers financial assistance to companies that go against bilateral or global trade rules, and if confirmed can trigger the imposition of countervailing duties.

The ITC voted 4 to 2 that the dumped and subsidized ribbon imports from China “injured or posed a threat of injury to domestic manufacturers,” paving the way for the Commerce Department to issue final orders for antidumping and countervailing duties to be collected. The commission voted 3 to 3 that ribbons from Taiwan also injured or threatened to injure U.S. companies, clearing the way for an antidumping order on woven ribbon imports from that country. Under ITC rules a tie vote amounts to an affirmative one.

The products covered by the ruling include certain woven ribbon used for embellishing apparel and footwear or for decorative uses like gift wrapping.

Importers expressed concern the case could encourage the filing of others on products that were formerly under quota, but since the ITC decision was not unanimous, the outlook for possible future cases is uncertain.

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