Last month, we reported in our blog about how Chinese quartz manufacturers are abandoning traditional production and instead are manufacturing new slabs made of crushed glass to skirt the countervailing and antidumping duties on quartz. Crushed glass countertops are distinctly excluded from these duties of up to 300 percent, but now Cambria, which filed the original countervailing and antidumping petition, says this new situation is not what they had intended.
In a new petition, filed February 14, Cambria requested that the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) extend the deadline for submitting “factual information regarding the need to clarify the scope” of the countervailing and antidumping investigation. Cambria is asking the DOC to include new “factual information… regarding quartz glass.”
The petition seeks to differentiate between crushed glass and the aforementioned term (quartz glass), which Cambria seems to have fabricated out of thin air. According to the February 14 petition, Cambria sought to exclude surfaces that are “made predominately of crushed glass and pieces of crushed glass [that are] visible on their surfaces.”
“Chinese producers have created a new ‘quartz glass’ product that appears indistinguishable from other quartz surface products,” and Cambria did not intend that such products be excluded from the scope of the DOC investigation.
American Quartz Worker Coalition Responds
Five days after Cambria’s new petition was filed, the American Quartz Worker Coalition responded with its own petition, calling for the DOC to reject the request to re-open the factual record in the case. According to this response, filed by representatives of Arizona Tile, Bedrosians Tile & Stone, MS International, Inc. and Piedrafina Marble, Inc., should be rejected for the following reasons:
- Petitioner’s request for an amendment to the scope is untimely and should be rejected.
- The record and the law do not support petitioner’s request for a scope amendment.
- Permitting petitioner to amend the scope at this very late stage would negatively impact the department’s AD/CVD investigations.
ITC Approves Cambria Petition
Despite the efforts of the American Quartz Worker Coalition, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) approved Cambria’s request to allow for new information to be admitted to the record on February 26.
According to the ITC, “if a party subsequently finds that additional factual information pertaining to the scope of the investigation may be relevant, the party may contact Commerce and request permission to submit the additional information.”
“After Consideration, for the reasons stated in the petitioner’s submission and in accordance with the Initiation Notices, Commerce is accepting the petitioner’s February 14 submission.”
Parties and stakeholders are now allowed to “submit information to rebut, clarify or correct the new factual information contained in the petitioner’s February 14 submission.”
The deadline to submit comments relevant to this “new, factual information” is 5:00 p.m. EST on March 6, 2019.