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Uranium Primer - Trade Restrictions

In November 1991, a coalition representing the US uranium industry, comprised of uranium mining companies and a labor union (referred to as the “Ad Hoc Committee”), filed an antidumping petition with the US Department of Commerce (DOC) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that imports of uranium products from the then-Soviet Union were being dumped in the US market and were materially injuring the domestic uranium industry. (Dumping is selling a good at prices below “fair value”–generally the prices charged in the producer’s home country, or its cost of production plus a reasonable profit.)

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DOC began an antidumping investigation of such products on December 5, 1991, and on December 23, the ITC made the preliminary determination that such products were causing material injury to the US uranium industry. Two days later, the Soviet Union formally dissolved, which gave rise to the issue of whether the investigation should begin anew. (The antidumping law requires the investigation of dumping on a country-by-country basis.) Because the antidumping petition did not contain country-specific information about production, pricing, or other relevant matters, an investigation of each newly independent Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) country was not possible. Nonetheless, DOC decided to continue the investigation against the 12 countries that had emerged from the breakup of the Soviet Union without requiring a new petition.

DOC issued its preliminary findings in June 1992, determining that uranium from six CIS countries was being sold in the USA at less than fair value. These countries were Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. As a result, DOC set a preliminary antidumping duty rate of 115.82% on uranium from each of these republics.

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