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January 30, 2004 

U.S. Hazelnut Industry Withdraws Antidumping Petition on Processed Hazelnuts From Turkey

In a stunning and unusual development, the United States hazelnut industry has withdrawn their antidumping petition on processed hazelnuts from Turkey. The antidumping petition, which alleged that processed hazelnuts from Turkey were sold at less than fair value in the United States was filed on October 21, 2003 by Westnut LLC, Northwest Hazelnut Co., Hazelnut Growers of Oregon, Willamette Filbert Growers, Evergreen Orchards and Evonuk Orchards.

In the letter submitted to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) withdrawing the petition, counsel for the US hazelnut industry said that the petition was withdrawn due to concessions offered by the Government of Turkey. Specifically, the Government of Turkey offered the US hazelnut industry access to Turkey's hazelnut gene repository, increased funding of the U.S.-Turkey hazelnut marketing/promotion program and will not file any Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) petitions on hazelnuts.

The letter notes that the US hazelnut industry has been devastated by the Eastern Filbert Blight, a disease that kills hazelnut trees. Access to the gene depository in Turkey will allow the US hazelnut industry to develop trees that are disease resistant. The letter also states that the increased funding of the hazelnut promotion program will increase the demand in the US for consumption of hazelnuts which will eventually benefit the US hazelnut industry.

Interestingly, the letter sent to the ITC and DOC indicates that this antidumping petition was a warning to the Turkish producers of the "inappropriateness of injurious, dumped imports, and that, if they occur, aggressive action will be taken against them." The letter closed by stating that the US industry hopes "that it will not be necessary to send that message again."

The circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of this antidumping petition are highly unusual, as only a small number of antidumping petitions are voluntarily withdrawn by the parties submitting the petition.



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