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NEWS RELEASE 03-073; AUGUST 4, 2003 August 4, 2003
News Release 03-073
Invs. Nos. 731-TA-1043-1045(P)

ITC VOTES TO CONTINUE CASES ON POLYETHYLENE RETAIL CARRIER BAGS FROM CHINA, MALAYSIA, AND THAILAND

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is threatened with material injury by reason of imports of polyethylene retail carrier bags from China, Malaysia, and Thailand that are allegedly sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman Deanna Tanner Okun, Vice Chairman Jennifer A. Hillman, and Commissioners Marcia E. Miller and Stephen Koplan voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission's affirmative determinations, the Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its antidumping investigations of imports of polyethylene retail carrier bags from China, Malaysia, and Thailand, with its preliminary determinations due on or about November 28, 2003.

The Commission's public report Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags from China, Malaysia, and Thailand (Investigations Nos. 731-TA-1043-1045 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 3618, August 2003) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

Copies of the report are expected to be available after September 2, 2003, by calling 202-205- 1809 or from the Office of the Secretary, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.


FACTUAL HIGHLIGHTS

Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (PRCB's) from China, Malaysia, and Thailand
Investigations Nos.731-TA-1043-1045 (Preliminary)

Product Description: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags (which also may be referred to as T-shirt sacks, merchandise bags, grocery bags, or checkout bags). non-sealable sacks and bags with handles, without zippers or integral extruded closures, with or without gussets, with or without printing, of polyethylene film having a thickness no greater than .035 inch (0.889 mm) and no less than .00035 inch (0.00889 mm), and with no length or width shorter than 6 inches (15.24 cm) or longer than 40 inches (101.6 cm), excluding (1) polyethylene bags that are not printed with logos or store names and are closable with drawcords made of polyethylene film and (2) polyethylene bags that are packed in consumer packaging with printing that refers to specific end uses other than packaging and carrying merchandise from retail establishments (such as garbage bags, lawn bags, trash can liners, and sandwich bags (the subject products are typically provided without any consumer packaging and free of charge by retail establishments)), as covered by statistical reporting number 3923.21.0090 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).

Status of Proceedings:
1.      Type of investigations: preliminary antidumping.
2.      Petitioners: - The Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bag Committee, an ad hoc coalition of U.S.
        polyethylene retail carrier bag producers. 
3.      Investigations instituted by USITC:  June 20, 2003.
4.      Conference: July 11, 2003.
5.      USITC vote:  August 4, 2003.
6.      USITC report to Department of Commerce:  August 11, 2003.

U.S. Industry:
1.      Number of U.S. firms in 2002:  At least 21.
2.      Production during 2002:  60.7 billion bags.
3.      Employment of production and related workers in 2002:  3,273.
4.      U.S. producers' U.S. shipments 2002:  59.6 billion bags, valued at $652.9 million.
5.      U.S. apparent consumption during 2002:  96.5 billion bags, valued at $883.3 million
6.      U.S. producers' domestic market share during 2002:  61.8 percent.

U.S. Imports:
1.      PRCB imports from all countries during 2002:  36.8 billion bags, valued at $230.4 million.
2.      PRCB imports from subject countries during 2002:  27.4 billion bags, valued at $156.7 million.
3.      Ratio of quantity of all PRCB imports to U.S. apparent consumption during 2002:  38.2 percent.
4.      Ratio of quantity of PRCB imports from subject countries to U.S. apparent consumption during 2002: 
          28.4 percent.
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