WASHINGTON — Synthetic rubber producer Lion Elastomers L.L.C. has filed an antidumping petition against producers of emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (E-SBR) from Czech Republic, Italy and Russia, claiming there is a "clear pattern of unfair pricing" of E-SBR from these countries.
In the petition, filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission on Nov. 12, Lion claims such imports have caused material injury to the domestic industry in the form of "lost sales, decreased production volume and capacity utilization, lower profit margins, and contractions in labor force retention."
The synthetic rubber producer said it was supported in the action by the United Steelworkers Local 13-228-03 and the International Union of Operating Engineers ("IUOE") Local 564.
E-SBR is used primarily in tire applications as well as in conveyor belts, shoe soles, hose, roller coverings and flooring. While E-SBR is used in certain tire applications, three-fourths or more of SBR used in tire production is considered solution SBR, which has a hihger molecular weight and smaller molecular weight distribution, traits that deliver better flexibility and tensile strength with lower rolling resistance.
The petition covers grades of E-SBR included in the IISRP 1500 and 1700 series of synthetic rubbers sold in all solid forms, including, but not limited to, bales, granules, crumbs, pellets, powders, plates, sheets and strip.
According to the petition, Lion is claiming a dumping margin of 35.87% for E-SBR imported from Czech Republic, 44.51% from Italy and 67.87% from Russia.
The complaint covers imports of roughly 68 million pounds, valued at $23.1 million, in 2020.
The trade action lists Synthos Kralupy A.S. as an exporter of E-SBR to the U.S. from Czech Republic; Versalis S.p.A. from Italy; and Omsky Kautchuk, Sibur Holding, JSC Synthez-Kauchuk and Tatneft from Russia.
Lion Elastomers said it filed this petition seeking enforcement of U.S. trade laws "designed to create a level playing field for U.S. producers, and to maintain manufacturing jobs" in the U.S.
"The petition requests the imposition of remedial antidumping duties equal only to the margin of unfair pricing by foreign producers in the U.S. market."
The ITC's preliminary investigation sets questionnaires to be due Nov. 29; requests to appear at a hearing by Dec. 1; a hearing held Dec. 3; briefs due Dec. 8; and a vote to follow on Dec. 27.
The ITC and DOC would then make preliminary and final determinations in 2022.
Lion Elastomers has been an SR producer in the U.S. for more than 60 years, operating plants in Geismar, La., and Porches and Orange, Texas. Lion purchased the Orange plant in 2019 from Firestone Polymers L.L.C., a Bridgestone Americas subsidiary.
The firm previously filed a trade action against ESBR imports Mexico, Brazil, Poland and South Korea, that resulted in duties being levied in 2017.
The DOC recently said it was conducting a review of the duties levied against Industrias Negromex S.A. de C.V., and will look at data for the 12 months ended Aug. 31, 2021.