Brown Goes to Bat for Dayton Jobs Threatened by Unfair Trade Practices

Senator Urges ITC to Side with Ohio Workers Threatened by Illegal Dumping from Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is urging the International Trade Commission (ITC) to side with a Dayton plant that is currently being threatened by dumped and subsidized imports from countries like Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand. The Dayton Tate & Lyle plant makes citric acid and employs 80 Ohioans.

Brown’s letter comes as the ITC prepares to make its final determination in this investigation and decide whether or U.S. producers like Tate & Lyle have been harmed by foreign citric acid imports. That decision is due in early July. If the ITC finds that domestic producers like Dayton Tate & Lyle have been harmed, duties will be imposed on unfair foreign imports to level the playing field.

Citric acid is an organic acid that is widely used in foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and technical applications.

“Ohio workers can compete with anyone – but they need a level playing field,” said Brown. “I urge the ITC to hold trade cheaters accountable so our Dayton workers can get the relief they need to continue competing in the global market.”

In 2015, Brown’s Leveling the Playing Field Act was signed into law, making it easier for companies like Tate & Lyle to bring and win cases like this one at the ITC.


A copy of Brown’s letter to the ITC can be found HERE and below:

June 13, 2018

The Honorable Rhonda Schmidtlein


United States International Trade Commission

500 E Street, SW

Washington, D.C. 20436


Re:       Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts from Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand, Investigation Nos. 701-TA-581 and 731-TA-1374-1376 (Final)

Dear Chairwoman Schmidtlein:

I write to express my support for U.S. citric acid producers and their workers, which are facing unfairly dumped and subsidized citric acid and certain citrate salts imports.  As you prepare to make a final determination in the above referenced investigations, I urge the Commission to fully implement the Leveling the Playing Field Act (Title V of P.L. 114-27) regarding these imports’ injury to the domestic industry.  

U.S. citric acid producers, including the Tate & Lyle Dayton, Ohio, plant and its 80 employees, are unable to compete against dumped and subsidized imports, and they need relief.  The financial status of U.S. manufacturers, including revenues, declined between 2014 and 2016.  That is in large part because U.S. producers have seen a declining share of the domestic market while the market share of the subject imports have increased.  According to the Commission’s own preliminary report, more than half of the imported volume undersold domestically produced citric acid, and that quantity of undersold imports is increasing, which is suppressing U.S. prices.  As you know, Section 503 of P.L. 114-27 expanded the definition of material injury so that U.S. producers are eligible for relief before they are forced to close their doors.  I urge the Commission to consider all injury criteria included in the Leveling the Playing Field Act in its final determination.

In addition, substitutability is an important factor in this case.  U.S.-produced citric acid competes against all citric acid imports in the U.S. market. This includes citric acid from all of the countries covered by the case.  As the Commission has already concluded, citric acid imports from each subject countries are “reasonably fungible with the domestic like product.”  Therefore, I urge the Commission to cumulate imports from all three subject countries to accurately assess the imports’ threat and injury to domestic producers. 

Thank you for this opportunity to provide comments in support of this industry and its workers. 


Sherrod Brown

United States Senator