For Immediate Release: March 6, 2006
U.S. - MEXICO AGREEMENT ON CEMENT
On March 6, 2006, the Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, United
States Trade Representative Rob Portman, and Mexico's Secretary of Economy
Sergio Garcia de Alba signed an agreement that resolves a 16-year dispute
over the antidumping duty order on Gray Portland Cement from Mexico. This
market-liberalizing agreement addresses the concerns of producers and
consumers on both sides of the border, and will help ensure that the Gulf
Coast communities devastated by last summer's hurricanes have the resources
necessary to rebuild. The agreement will also help ensure that resources
will be available in the event of future natural disasters.
Major provisions of the Agreement include:
- resolution of litigation regarding outstanding claims for antidumping
duties before U.S. courts and international tribunals;
- a mechanism permitting imports of 3 million metric tons of Mexican
cement to be distributed regionally throughout the southern tier of
the United States with an antidumping duty of $3 per metric ton;
- a provision permitting additional imports of up to 200,000 metric
tons at the lower antidumping duty rate that may be instituted if the
President determines increased imports of Mexican cement are warranted
in responding to a disaster;
- elements for mutual trade liberalization including general access
for U.S. producers to the Mexican market;
- a three-year duration; and
- provisions that address the revocation of the antidumping duty order
at the conclusion of the agreement.
As a result of an antidumping petition filed by the Southern Tier Cement
Committee in 1989 and its subsequent antidumping duty investigation, the
Commerce Department found that Cemex, Mexico's largest producer and exporter
of cement, sold its product in the U.S. market at less than fair value.
An antidumping duty order on gray portland cement from Mexico went into
effect on August 30, 1990. In the investigation and subsequent administrative
reviews, Cemex received margins ranging from 37.40 to 109.43 percent.
Cemex's current margin is 42.26 percent.
U.S. Cement Market Conditions
U.S. cement producers have a production capacity of approximately 111
million metric tons. In 2005, the United States imported 1.92 million
metric tons of Mexican cement.