WASHINGTON– Today, U.S. Senators Mike Braun and Tammy Baldwin sent a letter to the Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to advocate for American mask and medical equipment manufacturers, calling for an investigation into the alleged dumping of Chinese-made products into the U.S. market. Reports allege Chinese-made masks and other products have been dumped into the U.S. marketplace at such low prices, sometimes 1/10 of the cost of American made products, it has created an unfair marketplace for American manufacturers, driving many out of business.
The Senators write:
“This unfair competition is putting significant financial pressure on American manufacturers, driving many out of business, and threatening, for example, our ability to scale up the production of high-quality masks, such as N95 respirators, in the event of a new variant.”
The Senators continued:
“Aside from the benefits domestic production brings to local economies in our states, localized production helps ensure that the resulting products meet the highest standards of quality, sterilization, and consumer safety.”
The letter calls for the Department of Commerce to self-initiate an antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) inquiry into masks, meltblown raw material, and other single use medical equipment imported from the People’s Republic of China. While other industries have the financial ability to petition the Department of Commerce to take such action, the U.S. mask manufacturing industry are under such extreme financial pressure from Chinese imports that they are unlikely to have the resources to spend the significant time and money needed to submit a petition to the Department of Commerce.
“We sincerely thank Senators Tammy Baldwin and Mike Braun for their support in urging the U.S. Department of Commerce to self-initiate an antidumping duty and countervailing duty inquiry into respirator masks, melt-blown raw material, and other single use medical equipment imported from China,” said Kim Glas, President and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations. “Domestic PPE manufacturers that pivoted to make lifesaving face masks and other public health supplies are now facing another challenging environment where Chinese PPE production has ramped up significantly and cheap product is being dumped into the U.S. market below cost, and it is threatening our domestic PPE industry. We know the administration is committed to building and supporting PPE supply chains domestically and that is why we are urging the Commerce Department to use all of the trade remedy tools at its disposal to help support a critical domestic PPE supply chain and force China to compete on a level playing field.”
The full letter can be found HERE