Skip to content

New Trade Case on Imports of Aluminum Lithographic Printing Plates from China and Japan

September 29, 2023

Two new U.S. antidumping (“AD”) duty petitions and one countervailing duty (“CVD”) petition were filed on Sept. 27 by Eastman Kodak Company (“Petitioner”) against imports of aluminum lithographic printing plates (“lithographic plates”). The two countries named in the AD petitions are China and Japan. The country named in the CVD petition is China.

The merchandise covered by these petitions are certain lithographic plates, which may also be referred to as digital printing plates, offset printing plates, photosensitive printing plates, or thermal printing plates, depending on the plates’ physical characteristics. Lithographic plates are image carriers in the offset printing process. This means that they are able to capture an image using either light or heat and then reproduce the image on a suitable receiving material using fountain solutions and inks. Lithographic plates are commonly used to produce printed goods, such as newspapers, books, and magazines. Specifically excluded from the scope are lithographic plates produced from material other than aluminum, such as rubber or plastic. Please see below for the full text of the proposed scope of the investigations.

The Department of Commerce (“DOC”) and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) will conduct the investigations. Within the next 45 days, the ITC will determine if there is a reasonable indication that the imports are injuring or threatening to injure the U.S. industry. If the ITC finds that this standard is met, the cases will move to the DOC, which will calculate the preliminary AD and CVD duty margins.

The DOC’s preliminary determinations are currently expected by Dec. 21, 2023 (CVD) and March 5, 2024 (AD). On the date of publication of DOC’s preliminary determinations, importers will be required to deposit the calculated duties upon the products’ entry into the U.S. market. Interested parties should be aware of the potential lapse in U.S. government funding, which is currently set to expire at midnight on Sept. 30, 2023. A lapse in appropriations would cause certain government activities to cease and may impact the deadlines in these investigations.

Importers should also be aware that entries may be subject to AD/CVD cash deposits up to 90 days before the DOC preliminary determinations if the DOC and ITC both issue a finding of “critical circumstances.” For the DOC, this means that imports increased by at least 15 percent following the filing of the petition compared to a similar period (typically three months) before the petition was filed. For the ITC, a finding of critical circumstances is rare.

There are strict statutory deadlines associated with these proceedings and affected companies are advised to prepare as soon as possible. If this product is of interest to you, please let us know so that we can provide you with additional information as it becomes available. A schedule of approximate key dates is attached below.

The following are key facts about this trade case:

Petitioner: Eastman Kodak Company

Foreign Producers/Exporters and US Importers: Please contact us for a listing of individual importers and exporters named in the petition.

AD/CVD margins: Petitioner alleged the following AD/CVD margins:

  • China: AD margin of 107.64 percent, ad valorem;
  • China: CVD margin above de minimis; and
  • Japan: AD margin of 23.52 percent, ad valorem.

Merchandise covered by the scope of the case:

The proposed scope of these investigations describes the imported merchandise as:

The merchandise covered by these investigations is aluminum lithographic printing plates. Aluminum lithographic printing plates consist of a flat substrate containing at least 90 percent aluminum. The aluminum-containing substrate is generally treated using a mechanical, electrochemical, or chemical graining process, which is followed by one or more anodizing treatments that form a hydrophilic layer on the aluminum-containing substrate. An image-recording, oleophilic layer that is sensitive to light, including but not limited to ultra-violet, visible, or infrared, is dispersed in a polymeric binder material that is applied on top of the hydrophilic layer, generally on one side of the aluminum lithographic printing plate. The oleophilic light-sensitive layer is capable of capturing an image that is transferred onto the plate by either light or heat. The image applied to an aluminum lithographic printing plate facilitates the plate’s use in offset printing processes to produce materials such as newspapers, magazines, books, yearbooks, coupons, packaging, and other printed materials. Aluminum lithographic printing plates within the scope of these investigations include all aluminum lithographic printing plates, irrespective of the dimensions or thickness of the underlying aluminum substrate, whether the plate requires processing after an image is applied to the plate, whether the plate is ready to be mounted to a press and used in printing operations immediately after an image is applied to the plate, or whether the plate has been exposed to light or heat to create an image on the plate or remains unexposed and is free of any image.

Subject merchandise also includes aluminum lithographic printing plates produced from an aluminum sheet coil that has been coated with a light-sensitive image-recording layer in a subject country and that is subsequently unwound and cut to the final dimensions to produce a finished plate in a third country (including the United States), or exposed to light or heat to create an image on the plate in a third country (including the United States).

Excluded from the scope of these investigations are lithographic printing plates manufactured using a substrate produced from a material other than aluminum, such as rubber or plastic.

Aluminum lithographic printing plates are currently classifiable under HTSUS subheadings 3701.30.0000 and 3701.99.6060. Further merchandise that falls within the scope of these investigations may also be entered into the United States under HTSUS subheadings 3701.99.3000 and 8442.50.1000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of these investigations is dispositive.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Mark Ludwikowski (; 202-640-6680), Kevin Williams (; 312-985-5907), Will Sjoberg (; 202-772-0924), Aristeo Lopez (; 202-552-2366), Kelsey Christensen (; 202-640-6670), Sally Alghazali (; 202-572-8676), or other members of Clark Hill’s International Trade Business Unit.

Approximate Key Dates*
Antidumping Duty Investigation
Event No. of Days Date of Action
Petition Filed 0 9/27/2023
Initiation Date 20 10/17/2023
ITC Preliminary Investigations**
Questionnaires Due 14 10/11/2023
Request to appear at hearing 18 10/16/2023
Hearing 21 10/18/2023
Briefs 26 10/23/2023
ITC Vote 43 11/9/2023
ITC Preliminary Determination 45 11/13/2023
DOC Investigations
DOC Preliminary AD Determination 160 3/5/2024
DOC Final AD Determination 235 5/20/2024
ITC Final Investigations
ITC Final AD Determination 280 7/3/2024
DOC Final Investigations
DOC AD Publication of Order 287 7/10/2024
Countervailing Duty Investigation
Event No. of Days Date of Action
Petition Filed 0 9/27/2023
Initiation Date 20 10/17/2023
ITC Determination of Reasonable Indication of Injury 45 11/13/2023
DOC Preliminary CVD Determination 85 12/21/2023
Submission of factual information 95 1/2/2024
Request for a hearing 122 1/29/2024
Briefs 142 2/16/2023
DOC Final CVD Determination 160 3/5/2024
ITC Final CVD Determination 205 4/19/2024
DOC CVD Publication of Order 212 4/26/2024

This publication is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or a solicitation to provide legal services. The information in this publication is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel. The views and opinions expressed herein represent those of the individual author only and are not necessarily the views of Clark Hill PLC. Although we attempt to ensure that postings on our website are complete, accurate, and up to date, we assume no responsibility for their completeness, accuracy, or timeliness.

Subscribe For The Latest