The plaintiffs in this case are the American Honey Producers Association and the Sioux Honey Association who requested that the US Department of Commerce (DOC) investigate raw honey products classified under HS code 0409.00, with businesses required to check against HS codes when exporting American products.
The timeframe for anti-dumping investigations proposed by the plaintiffs is from October 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, whilst the damage investigation period will be from January 1, 2018.
According to data provided by the US Customs, the nation’s honey export turnover to the United States reached approximately 50,700 tonnes in 2020, thereby accounting for roughly 25.8% of the US’ total honey imports.
This marks the first time that local honey products have been put in danger of being investigated for trade remedies. In addition, the case represents possibly the third commercial defence investigation in the world, following the US launching an anti-dumping investigation against Chinese honey, along with anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations taken against Argentinian honey in 2001.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that recent times have seen it actively co-ordinate and work alongside the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Vietnam Beekeepers Association, and honey export enterprises from the US. This has been done for the purpose of proactively grasping information in order to prepare plans in response to promptly in case of an investigation initiated.
Currently, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) is in the process of reviewing the plaintiff’s lawsuit in a bid to assess the damage done to the US honey production industry. The ITC will therefore come to conclusions regarding the damage assessment to the bee keeping industry in the US within 45 days of receiving the application.
The Trade Defence Department has recommended that the association, along with related manufacturers and exporters, answer the questionnaire of the ITC in order to show their goodwill to co-operate with the US investigative agency. In addition, it is keen to show that is ready to guide and support businesses in accordance with relevant regulations.