Today, Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (“AMI”) filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission requesting imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on certain amorphous silica fabric, an industrial textile, from the People’s Republic of China. AMI is the largest U.S. manufacturer of silica fabric, operating two manufacturing plants in Maine. AMI is the principal supplier of amorphous silica fabric to the U.S. Navy.
AMI has lost a significant number of sales to Chinese imports due to increasingly low import prices. As detailed in the petition, AMI believes that imports of silica fabric from China are being “dumped” in the U.S. market at unfairly low prices. AMI also provides evidence in the petition that the Chinese government is providing unfair subsidies to Chinese producers of silica fabric.
As a result of the lost sales, AMI has suffered decreased production, revenue and profits. AMI has seen an ever larger amount of sales be awarded to Chinese imports, especially since 2014. AMI believes that these imports are not compliant with either the Buy American Act (requiring over 50% US content), or the Berry Amendment, which generally requires textiles purchased with funds allocated by the Department of Defense to be 100% of U.S. origin.
Without relief from dumped and subsidized low-priced Chinese imports, it will become increasingly difficult for AMI to continue making this product. This is the latest segment of the U.S. textile industry to be replaced by Chinese imports as a result of unfair trade practices. In the long run, if these unfair practices are not curbed, the U.S. military will suffer because it will be unable to source these products from U.S. companies. The filing of the petition was necessary to keep AMI as a viable supplier to the Navy and to protect textile workers in Maine.
AMI looks forward to investigations by the two U.S. government agencies to confirm AMI’s evidence of dumping, subsidization, and injury, and urges the U.S. government to impose antidumping and countervailing duties to offset the injurious effects of these dumped and subsidized Chinese imports.