WASHINGTON — The American Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Coalition and its members have filed an antidumping duty petition charging that unfairly traded imports of R-134a refrigerant from China are causing material injury to the U.S. fluoro-chemicals industry. The petition was filed concurrently with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The American HFC Coalition alleges dumping margins for R-134a ranging from 150 percent to over 200 percent.

R-134a is a hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant gas. It is the primary coolant found in automobiles. It is also used in chillers in commercial buildings, home refrigerators, aerosols, propellants, and other applications. The petition is being filed in response to large and increasing volumes of low-priced imports from China. According to the coalition, imports from China have increased by more than 35 percent from 2013 to 2015, and continue to steadily increase. As a result, U.S. manufacturers are losing market share and prices are rapidly falling.

This is the second antidumping petition filed by the American HFC Coalition. The first petition was filed June 25, 2015, and seeks relief from Chinese imports of R-410A and other HFC blends. The HFC blends covered by the first case are the primary refrigerants used in residential air conditioning and supermarket refrigeration. As a result of the first petition, the Department of Commerce recently issued an affirmative preliminary determination. A final determination is expected this summer.

The new petition covering R-134a from China seeks the imposition of antidumping duties to level the playing field, particularly in the aftermarket for automotive air conditioning. The action is expected to take nine to 13 months to complete, with a preliminary determination expected within approximately six months.

The American HFC Coalition believes this action is essential to improving the economics of the U.S. industry and to allow for future reinvestment and growth. The coalition has retained the law firm of Cassidy Levy Kent (USA) LLP to represent the U.S. industry before the Commerce Department and the ITC.

Publication date: 3/7/2016

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!