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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.

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