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EghtesadOnline: The US International Trade Commission has determined, by a unanimous vote of 5 to 0, that revoking the US antidumping duty order on imports of raw in-shell pistachios from Iran would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the US pistachio industry within a reasonably foreseeable time.

Therefore, the US antidumping duty order on imports of raw in-shell pistachios from Iran will remain in place, American news outlet reported.

The antidumping duty order was first imposed by the United States in 1986 as a result of a successful petition filed by US pistachio growers and processors. The order, which imposes special import duties of 241.14% on US imports of Iranian pistachios, has been instrumental in allowing the US industry to thrive since that time.

Dumping is the practice of selling goods in export markets for prices lower than in the producer’s home market or below the cost of production.  International law provides for antidumping duties to remedy such behavior when it threatens or causes material injury to producers in the export market. Orders imposing such duties must be reviewed periodically to determine whether they continue to be justified, according to Financial Tribune.

Generally, such “sunset” reviews are conducted every five years, but under US law, the time during which imports are prohibited by a trade embargo are not counted. This was the second “sunset” review of the pistachio order against Iran since 1986.

The reasoning behind the recent decision will not be known until June 25, when the USITC will release its full report.

American Pistachio Growers are pleased the commissioners’ vote continues to maintain the existing tariffs on imported product.

Its executive director, Richard Matoian, stated, “We are pleased with this decision.  We believe we had provided the necessary evidence the American pistachio industry would be harmed by imported products from Iran, and today the commission, with its vote, has agreed with our position.”

American Pistachio Growers is a non-profit voluntary trade association representing nearly 700 grower members in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. APG is governed by a democratically elected board of directors who are growers and is funded entirely by growers and independent processors with the shared goal of increasing global awareness of nutritious, American-grown pistachios, the report concluded.

Iranian Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade and Chairman of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization Mojtaba Khosrotaj said Iran supplies more than 50% of the world pistachio market.

“The world pistachio market is worth over $2 billion and our exports amounted to $1.2 billion last year (March 2015-16). In the nine months to December 20, we exported over $800 million worth of the product and expect to repeat last year’s figure by the yearend,” he told Financial Tribune in an interview in January.

Iran and the US have been vying for the top spot as the world’s biggest producer and exporter of pistachio over the past several years. This is while years-long nationwide drought resulting from climate change and unconstrained farming have taken a devastating toll on Iran’s pistachio farming.

Iran Pistachio Iran-US trade US antidumping