New AD/CVD Petitions: Melamine from Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago (AD/CVD)

On February 14, 2024, antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions were filed against imports of Melamine from Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar, and Trinidad and Tobago.  The petitions were filed on behalf of Cornerstone Chemical Company.

Melamine is used to produce surface coatings and laminates that are used in products like kitchen and bathroom countertops, tabletops, doors, cabinets, appliances, and furniture.

This is a dying dinosaur case, as Cornerstone is the last remaining domestic producer of melamine.  Cornerstone believes that it is besieged by unfair imports and AD/CVD orders are essential for its very survival.  But importers and purchasers of melamine probably may question why Cornerstone should be entitled to demand that the US market pay higher than market prices just because they are the last remaining US producer.

In 2015, Cornerstone successfully got an AD/CVD order imposed on imports of Melamine from China. Chinese melamine is also subject to Section 301 tariffs.  Having blocked Chinese melamine imports in 2015, Cornerstone is once again asking the government to impose AD/CVD duties now on all the replacement imports from the named countries.

In addition to the ITC investigating whether imports are a cause of injury, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) will investigate whether the named subject imports are being sold to the United States at less than fair value (“dumping”) or benefit from unfair government subsidies.  Both agencies must make affirmative findings of injury or threat of injury (ITC) or of dumping or subsidies (DOC) in order for AD/CVD duties to be imposed on the subject imports.

Scope – AD/CVD orders on Melamine

The proposed scope definition of this case is the same as the existing AD/CVD orders on Melamine from China:

The merchandise subject to these investigations is melamine (Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number 108–78–01, molecular formula C3 H6 N6 ). Melamine is a crystalline powder or granule typically (but not exclusively) used to manufacture melamine formaldehyde resins. All melamine is covered by the scope of these investigations irrespective of purity, particle size, or physical form. Melamine that has been blended with other products is included within this scope when such blends include constituent parts that have been intermingled, but that have not been chemically reacted with each other to produce a different product. For such blends, only the melamine component of the mixture is covered by the scope of these orders. Melamine that is otherwise subject to these orders is not excluded when commingled with melamine from sources not subject to these investigations. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of these orders.

The subject merchandise is provided for in subheading 2933.61.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Although the HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.


Alleged AD/CVD Margins

Petitioner calculated estimated dumping margins for the subject countries:

Japan – 103.66% to 123.81%

Germany– 5.47% to 139.66%

India – 378.01% to 619.24%

Netherlands – 33.4% to 75.18%

Qatar – 191.63% to 622.05%

Trinidad and Tobago – 230.30% to 457.76%

Petitioner did not provide any specific subsidy margin calculations.

Named Exporters/ Producers

Petitioner included a list of companies that it believes are producers and exporters of the subject merchandise.  See attached list here.

Named U.S. Importers

Petitioner included a list of companies that it believes are U.S. importers of the subject merchandise.  See attached list here.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations.

February 14, 2024 – Petitions filed

March 5, 2024 – DOC initiates investigation

March 6, 2024 – ITC Staff Conference

March 30, 2024 – ITC preliminary determination

July 13, 2024 – DOC CVD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline) (5/9/24 – unextended)

September 11, 2024 – DOC AD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline) (7/23/24 – unextended)

January 24, 2025 – DOC final determination (extended)

March 10, 2025 – ITC final determination (extended)

March 17, 2025 – DOC AD/CVD orders issued (extended)