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New Trade Cases on Imports of Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid, and Derivative Products from China and France

December 4, 2017

New US antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty investigations were filed on November 30 against imports from China and France of sodium gluconate (GNA), gluconic acid (GA), and close derivatives, liquid gluconate (LG) and glucono delta lactone (GDL). These products can be used interchangeably for various applications because the active component is the gluconate anion. GNA has a wide range of applications across many industries, including applications for glassware, concrete, detergents, cleaners, shampoo, toothpaste, sweeteners, salt substitutes, and other household products. 

The investigations include AD and CVD actions against China, and AD against France. The Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission (ITC) will next determine whether to launch AD and/or CVD duty and injury investigations, respectively, on these products. Commerce will be responsible for calculating the ultimate AD/CVD margins on the imports, while the ITC will conduct a concurrent investigation to determine if the imports are injuring the U.S. industry. If Commerce finds dumping or unfair subsidization in its preliminary determinations, currently scheduled for February 23, 2018 (CVD) and May 9, 2018 (AD), importers will be charged the calculated duties upon the products' entry into the U.S. market.

There are strict statutory deadlines associated with these proceedings, so affected companies that wish to protect their interests should 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.  

The following are key facts about these cases:

Petitioners: PMP Fermentation Products, Inc., based in Peoria, IL.

Scope of the Subject Merchandise: The scope of this investigation covers all grades of sodium gluconate, liquid gluconate, and gluconic acid, regardless of physical form (including, but not limited to substrates; solutions; dry granular form or powders, regardless of particle size; or as a slurry). The scope also includes sodium gluconate, liquid gluconate, and gluconic acid that has been blended or is in solution with other product(s) where the resulting mix contains 35 percent or more of sodium gluconate, liquid gluconate, and/or gluconic acid (including glucono delta lactone, in essence dry gluconic acid, commonly referred to as GDL) by dry weight. Sodium gluconate has a molecular formula of NaC6H11O76H12O76H10O6. Sodium gluconate has a Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number of 527-07-1, and can also be called "sodium salt of gluconic acid" and/or sodium 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-pentahydroxy-hexanoate. Liquid gluconate has CAS registry numbers of 527-07-1, 526-95-4, and 7732-18-5, and can also be called 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-Pentahydroxycaproic acid-hexanoate. Gluconic acid has a CAS registry number of 526-95-4, and can also be called 2,3,4,5, 6-Pentahydroxycaproic Acid. GDL has a CAS registry number of 90-80-2, and can also be called D-Glucono-1,5- lactone.

The merchandise covered by the scope of this investigation is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheadings 2918.16.1000, 2918.16.5010, and 2932.20.5020. Although the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise is dispositive.

Alleged AD and CVD Margins: Against imports from China, Petitioners have alleged AD margins of 213%, and CVD margins above de minimis based on seven different subsidy program categories.  Against France, Petitioners have alleged AD margins of 78.6%.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Mark Ludwikowski or another member of Clark Hill's International Trade Practice Group.

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