December 12, 2008
News Release 08-121
Inv. Nos. 701-TA-459 and 731-TA-1155 (P)
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of commodity matchbooks from India that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

All six Commissioners voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission's affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its countervailing and antidumping duty investigations of imports of these products from India, with its preliminary countervailing duty determination due on or about January 22, 2009, and its preliminary antidumping duty determination due on or about April 7, 2009.

The Commission's public report Commodity Matchbooks from India (Investigation Nos. 701-TA- 459 and 731-TA-1155 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 4054, December 2008) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

Copies of the report are expected to be available after January 12, 2009, by calling 202-205-2000 or from the Office of the Secretary, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.


Commodity Matchbooks from India

Investigations Nos. 701-TA-459 and 731-TA-1155 (Preliminary)

Product Description: The products covered by these investigations are commodity matchbooks consisting of paper match stems fastened into a matchbook cover. The cover is usually made of plain white paperboard, which is sometimes printed with a simple generic message or image (i.e., "thank you" or an American Flag) or with a chain store logo. Each matchbook typically consists of twenty matches, mirroring the quantity of cigarettes contained in a pack. A slurry containing red phosphorus, polyvinyl acetate, and ground glass is applied to the cover to use as a striker surface for the match head. The match stem is made from paperboard and is tipped with a match head composed of a chemical formula (like potassium chlorate, ground glass, gelatin, sulfur, diatomaceous earth, and carboxymethylcellulose), which ignites when struck against the striker surface.

The flame is produced by a chemical reaction between potassium chlorate and red phosphorus. Safety matches separate the principle chemicals by adding the potassium chlorate into the formulation of the match head and the red phosphorous into the formulation of the striker surface. All matchbooks and most wooden matches are safety matches. All commodity matchbooks, whether imported or made in the United States, must meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Standards (16 C.F.R.  1202.1 et seq.).

Commodity matchbooks are currently classifiable under subheading 3605.00.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), entering duty free at the general rate of duty.

Status of Proceedings:
1.      Type of investigations:  Preliminary countervailing duty and preliminary antidumping.
2.      Petitioner:  D.D. Bean & Sons Co., Jaffrey, NH.
3.      Investigations instituted by USITC:  October 29, 2008.
4.      Staff Conference:  November 17, 2008.
5.      USITC vote:  December 12, 2008.
6.      USITC notification of Department of Commerce:  December 15, 2008.

U.S. Industry:
1.      Number of U.S. firms in 2007:  2.
2.      Production during 2007:  ().
3.      Employment of production and related workers in 2007:  (1).
4.      U.S. commercial shipments 2007:  (1).
5.      U.S. apparent consumption during 2007:  (1).

U.S. Imports:
1.      Imports from all countries during 2007:  (1).
2.      Imports from subject country during 2007:  (1).
3.      Ratio of quantity of all imports to U.S. apparent consumption during 2007:  (1).
4.      Ratio of quantity of imports from subject countries to U.S. apparent consumption during 2007:  (1).

(1) Withheld to avoid disclosure of business proprietary information collected by the Commission in questionnaire responses.

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