US accused of dumping chemical on Europe

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The Independent Online
BRUSSELS (Reuter) - The European Commission said yesterday it was investigating charges that imports of the chemical ethanolamine from the US were being dumped at unfairly low prices on the European Community market.

The community's executive body said in the Official Journal that it was acting after receiving a complaint from producers in the community that the chemical was being sold in the EC at prices significantly lower than on the US market.

According to the complaint imports of the American ethanolamine - used in producing textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics - increased by 38 per cent between 1988 and 1991.

The market share of community sales held by the American products shot up by 7.9 percentage points over the period to 39.2 per cent.

As a result community production dropped by 7 per cent and producers in the member states suffered an 8.4 per cent drop in their market share, reduced profits and in some cases financial losses.

The commission also announced yesterday that it was making permanent anti-dumping duties on imports of South Korean car radios.

It has set the duty at 34.4 per cent with reduced rates for 18 companies that co-operated in its investigation into whether the radios were being sold in the EC at unfairly low prices.

Among the companies to benefit from the decision Goldstar will pay 3.9 per cent duties, Hyundai Electronic Industries 10.8 per cent and Samsung Electronics 20.8 per cent.

The investigation by the commission, which imposed duties provisionally six months ago, backed up industry complaints that the radios were being sold on the community market at significantly less than it cost to manufacture them.

With the help of the low prices imports of the radios increased by 180 per cent from 1985 to 1989 and community manufacturers were forced to lower their own prices, leading to a dramatic loss of profits and lower market share.