China alleges Corning dumped optical fibers

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has alleged that Corning Inc. dumped optical fibres exported from the U.S. to China, the Corning, New York, company said Wednesday.

A preliminary determination issued by the MOC found that Corning had dumped single-mode optical fibres, causing material injury to domestic Chinese optical-fibre producers, the company said in a statement. Dumping is a term that is applied to the sale of products abroad at a price that is below the market price. Corning denied the charge.

“Corning believes that it has not dumped optical fibre into China and that the company has not caused injury to the Chinese domestic producers,” said Robert Brown, senior vice president and general manager of Corning Optical Fiber, in the statement.

As a result of the MOC’s preliminary determination, Chinese importers of some Corning single-mode optical fibre products will be required to make cash deposits of 16 per cent of the purchase price to Chinese customs authorities, the statement said. Corning said the impact of the decision could not immediately be determined, but said if the ruling holds it could have a substantial impact on the company’s ability to export optical fibre to China.

China accounts for six per cent of Corning’s revenue from sales of optical fibre and cables.

The preliminary determination does not apply to optical fibre made by Shanghai Fiber Optics Company Ltd., a Corning subsidiary in Shanghai, the company said.

The MOC determination is the result of a complaint filed by two Chinese optical-fibre makers, the statement said. It did not identify the two Chinese companies that brought the complaint. The MOC investigation into the dumping charges began in 2003 and covers the import of some single-mode optical fibres made in the U.S., Japan and South Korea, it said.

MOC officials plan to meet with Corning officials in the U.S. to review information provided by Corning in its defense of the dumping charges, Corning said. Following that visit, MOC will make a final determination on the charges, which Corning expects to happen by the end of this year, it said.

If the preliminary determination is upheld, the company may be able to appeal within the MOC or through Chinese courts, it said.

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