A Ministry of Finance (MOF) official traveled to China on June 12 to investigate whether two Chinese towel makers have sold their products to Taiwan at prices far lower than fair market value.

The visit follows Taiwan’s levying (from June 1) a 237.7% provisional anti-dumping tax on all Chinese towel exports to Taiwan, with the exception of those from two Chinese companies that have been subject to lower anti-dumping taxes of 109.3% and 107.7%, respectively.

The two companies—one in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province and the other in Zhejiang Province—replied to an initial anti-dumping survey conducted by the MOF earlier this year, while the other seven Chinese companies surveyed did not respond. The nine companies account for 35% of the total Chinese towel exports to Taiwan.

The MOF official is accompanied by an accountant, MOF sources said, adding that the official will investigate whether the data provided by the two companies is correct. The investigative results will serve as reference in determining whether the temporary anti-dumping taxes imposed on them should be adjusted when the ministry announces a formal anti-dumping tax on Chinese towels in mid-September.

The official is scheduled to conclude his visit and return to Taipei June 22.

It marks the first time Taiwan has formally sent an official on an anti-dumping visit to China under the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), MOF sources said, adding that the Chinese mission at the WTO formally informed Taiwan last week of its consent to the MOF official’s visit. The two companies have also expressed welcome to the official’s visit.

Unless the seven other major Chinese towel corporations respond to the MOF’s questionnaires before the ministry completes its anti-dumping investigations, the 237.7% anti-dumping tax imposed on their products is not expected to be changed when the ministry decides upon the formal anti-dumping tax.

According to general international trade practices, a provisional anti-dumping measure usually does not last for more than four months. The MOF is scheduled to announce the formal tax rate Sept. 16.

The ministry began the anti-dumping procedures against Chinese towel imports after local towel makers filed complaints and staged many rounds of demonstrations to call for government attention to their plight due to the influx of extremely cheap imports from China. (CAN/Asia Pulse Pty Limited)