The European Union threatened to impose tariffs on a chemical from the U.S. used in paints and paper coatings to curb import competition for Ineos Oxide Ltd.
The EU opened an inquiry into whether U.S. manufacturers of vinyl acetate sell it in the 27-nation bloc below cost, a practice known as dumping. Vinyl acetate is also used in such goods as safety glass and glues for furniture and floors.
The investigation will determine whether imports from the U.S. are “being dumped and whether this dumping has caused injury to the union industry,” the European Commission, the EU’s trade authority in Brussels, said on Dec. 4 in the Official Journal. The commission has nine months to decide whether to impose provisional anti-dumping duties for half a year and EU governments have 15 months to decide whether to apply “definitive” levies for five years.
The probe stems from an Oct. 22 dumping complaint by U.K.- based Ineos Oxide, which accounts for more than a quarter of the EU’s production of vinyl acetate, the commission said. The commission didn’t identify any U.S. makers of vinyl acetate and Craig Welsh, an Ineos Oxide spokesman, declined to name any American manufacturers when reached today by telephone in Runcorn, the U.K.