HOT SPRINGS (January 31, 2018) – Alliance Rubber Company asked the federal government to penalize foreign rubber band makers who sell their products in the United States for far less than the normal value set by U.S. trade laws.
Rubber band manufacturers in China, Thailand and Sri Lanka unfairly receive a competitive advantage over domestic producers like Alliance, the Hot Springs-based company, in filings with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Alliance, the largest U.S. rubber band manufacturer, said the United States should respond to the “dumping” of cheap and often inferior rubber bands by levying additional tariffs on certain rubber band imports.
“Rubber band manufacturers from Asia are receiving subsidies from their own governments and are artificially lowering their prices in order to root out American competition,” said Bonnie Spencer Swayze, President of Alliance Rubber Company. “These foreign companies have deliberately disregarded our trade laws. These kinds of actions disrupt the American economy and jeopardize American jobs. Alliance prides itself on its Made-in-America products and like all American manufacturers, we deserve a level playing field.”
Alliance produces the vast majority of rubber bands made in the United States. It accuses its Chinese, Thai and Sri Lankan competitors of selling rubber bands in some instances at least 60 percent less than the normal value within the meaning of the Tariff Act of 1930. In addition, the governments of China, Thailand and Sri Lanka are providing monetary and tax incentives to the rubber industry, further exacerbating the problem.
Because of the dumping of rubber bands into the domestic market, U.S. rubber band manufacturers face an immediate risk of economic injury, according to Alliance’s filing.
Since 2014, rubber band imports from Thailand alone have increased by 146 percent. Chinese imports rose by 115 percent and Sri Lankan imports increased by 26 percent over the same period of time.
Without measures to counteract the illegal dumping, wholesale purchasers of rubber bands will continue buying cheaper imports than quality, Made-in-America products, Alliance told the ITC and Commerce Department.
The petition filed today asks the Commerce Department to determine that the Asian companies are indeed selling rubber bands for less than normal value, in violation of federal law. The ITC is tasked with determining what, if any, economic injury has occurred to domestic producers.
Alliance requests that the federal government assess “antidumping duties” on the imports that would counteract the competitive advantage the foreign companies receive by artificially lowering their prices. The U.S. company also asks for “countervailing duties” to offset the subsidies and incentives being provided to foreign companies by their governments.
“We look forward to presenting our case to U.S. trade officials on behalf of American manufacturers,” Swayze said. “Alliance has been producing quality rubber bands for nearly 100 years, and we want American Manufacturing to remain strong for many more years to come.”