US commission speeds Russian anti-dumping review

09 May 2017

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) yesterday announced it will conduct an expedited five-year review - also known as a 'sunset' review - on the US-Russia Antidumping Suspension Agreement.

The USITC is an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency responsible for investigating the effects of dumped or subsidised imports - that is, imports sold in the USA at less than fair value - on domestic industries. The US Department of Commerce (DOC) and the USITC are required by law to conduct an investigation when dumping may have occurred. Representatives of US uranium producers, together with the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union in 1991 lodged such a complaint against imports of uranium from the former Soviet Union, and an investigation was launched.

The DOC in 1992 agreed to suspend its investigation into Russian uranium imports under the terms of the US-Russia Antidumping Suspension Agreement. The agreement, which was amended in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2008, provides strict limits and conditions on such imports. The original 1992 agreement essentially eliminated any direct sales of Russian-origin uranium or enrichment into the USA, but the 2008 amendment allowed for direct sales of Russian-origin enriched uranium product from 2008 to 2020 at about 20% of the US market. The agreement is due to expire in 2020, after which Russian-origin uranium products and services can be sold into the USA without any restrictions.

Legislation known as the Uruguay Round Agreements Act requires the DOC to revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years. That is, unless the DOC and the USITC determine that to do so would be likely to lead to continuation, or recurrence, of dumping or subsidies, and of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.

The USITC in February instituted the review process by asking interested parties to file responses on the likely effects of revoking the order under review and to provide other pertinent information. Based on the responses received, four of the five commissioners voted for an expedited, rather than full, review. In an expedited review, no hearing is held but commissioners base their determinations on the available facts. These include the commission's own prior reviews and determinations, the responses received to its notice of the institution of the review, and other data and information collected by USITC staff and the DOC.

The commission said it will issue a report when it completes its review.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News