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USTR Grants Request to Raise Import Duty Rate on Glycine
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 07/17/2017

GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. (GEO), Ambler, Pa., the largest U.S. glycine producer, successfully petitioned the USTR to remove glycine, also known as aminoacetic acid, from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The GSP program provides duty-free status to thousands of products imported into the United States from 120 developing countries and territories designated as beneficiaries under the program.

Effective July 1, all U.S. glycine imports from GSP beneficiary countries and territories, including Cambodia, India and Thailand, are no longer duty-free and are subject to a 4.2 percent duty rate upon entry.

GEO took this action to halt the rampant transshipping of Chinese glycine to the United States through certain GSP beneficiary countries to evade antidumping duties owed under the U.S. government's antidumping duty order on glycine from China. Such transshipping, GEO noted during the GSP review process, does not benefit the economic development of the GSP beneficiary countries, harms U.S. companies competing against these imports, and abuses the GSP program. Removing glycine from the entire GSP program will deter any "Whack-A-Mole" problem (i.e., the prohibition of transshipping in one or more countries leading to the spread of transshipping in other countries) with other GSP countries. Ken Ghazey, GEO's Chief Executive Officer, praised the USTR's ruling. "GEO seeks nothing more than a level playing field in the U.S. market for all companies selling glycine," he said. "This decision is a significant step toward that objective."

GEO was represented by Thompson Hine LLP in Washington, D.C.

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