TRA opens new investigation into subsidised ironing boards

This investigation is in response to an application from a UK manufacturer to investigate whether ironing boards imported from Turkish Free Zones are subsidised and causing injury to UK industry. The TRA will conduct an Economic Interest Test (EIT) as part of its investigation to assess whether introducing new trade remedy measures to address the injury, would be in the UK’s economic interest.

Information from interested parties will be used for the TRA to establish whether imports of ironing boards from Turkish Free Zones benefit from subsidies, whether these imports are causing injury to UK industry and whether it would be in the UK’s interests for countervailing measures to be put in place to mitigate any injury.

TRA Chief Executive Oliver Griffiths said:

The TRA exists to defend UK economic interests against unfairly traded imports into the UK. This new investigation will examine whether Turkish subsidies are unfairly impacting British manufacturing of ironing boards and the broader economy.

The period of investigation is 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021, while the injury period is 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2021.

View further information on how to contribute to the investigation and on the TRA’s current case load, including its investigation into aluminium extrusions and transition reviews into steel safeguard measures, iron and steel Wire Rods and heavy steel plate.

Background information:

  • UK industries concerned about imports have been able to submit applications for a new trade remedy measure since January 2021. These applications are considered by the TRA to see if there are grounds for an investigation.
  • Countervailing remedies are one of three trade policy tools to counter imports which are causing or threatening injury to domestic industry, the other two being anti-dumping and safeguard remedies. Countervailing remedies address imported goods which are being subsidised by foreign governments.
  • Ironing boards made in the UK are mostly sold to the domestic market. The UK imports more ironing boards than it exports. Steel prices and anti-dumping remedies can impact fluctuations in imports and exports of ironing boards.
  • Turkish Free Zones are designated areas of enterprise that are subject to special regulatory treatment like tax breaks and other government support. They are deemed to be outside of the country’s customs territory.
  • Some alleged benefits for companies based in Free Zones are: opportunity to benefit from tax advantages, opportunity to transfer profits, facilitation of foreign trade, trade facility free from customs duty procedure.
  • This is the second new case (not a transition review) that the TRA has opened and follows our first new investigation case into potential dumping of Aluminium Extrusions that opened in June 2021 and is still under investigation.
  • The Trade Remedies Authority is the UK body that investigates whether new trade remedy measures are needed to counter unfair import practices and unforeseen surges of imports.
  • The TRA is an arm’s length body of the Department of International Trade (DIT) launched on 1 June 2021. Before its launch, it operated as the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) of DIT.
  • Trade remedy investigations were carried out by the EU Commission on the UK’s behalf until the UK left the EU. Forty-four EU trade remedy measures of interest to UK producers were carried across into UK law when the UK left the EU and the TRA is currently reviewing each one to assess whether it is suitable for UK needs.

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