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Regulation

Arkema alleges refrigerant dumping by China

by Alexander H. Tullo
February 1, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 5

 

Arkema has filed an antidumping petition with the US International Trade Commission regarding imports of the fluorocarbon refrigerant R-32 (difluoromethane) from China. Arkema, which is the sole US producer of the refrigerant, at a plant in Calvert City, Kentucky, says US imports of R-32 shot up 900%, to about 15,000 metric tons per year, between 2016 and 2019. R-32 is used mostly in refrigerant blends. To circumvent US antidumping duties on blends from China, Arkema claims, foreign producers established US blending operations that allowed them to import unblended material into the US at below-market prices. The US Commerce Department appears to be closing the loophole. It has issued a preliminary ruling to impose antidumping duties on R-32 and R-125 (pentafluoroethane) from China. A final ruling is due in April.

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