Melancon addresses Japanese threats to LaPlace jobs

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon recently took action against, what he calls, the unreasonable trade practices of the Japanese chemical industry while appearing as a witness before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

The unfair foreign trade could possibly threaten the economic impact in LaPlace and Louisiana and urged the ITC for anti-dumping protection, Melancon told the ITC on May 3.

The chemical industry is “an industry that is struggling to cope with rising energy costs and unfair foreign competition,” said Melancon to the commission. “It is only with the protection of the ITC that our domestic industry can survive in such a predatory marketplace.”

Communication Director of DuPont Dow Elastomers Cathleen Branciaroli said it was important for the anti-dumping protection to continue.

This will help “maintain a strong business,” said Branciaroli. “We appreciate congressman Melancon appearing before the ITC in support of maintaining the anti-dumping protection with the U.S. Government Domestic Industry.”

Melancon said if the commission chooses to revoke the anti-dumping order on neoprene rubber from Japan, the economic effects would be “dramatic and severe.”

Branciaroli said DuPont Dow Elastomers are committed to operating in Louisiana and are planning to move forward with consolidating the Neoprene production Pontchartrain facility and have the investments to support it.

In a market safe from unfair foreign dumping, DuPont Dow Elastomers plans to increase job opportunities and make momentous capitol improvements to their facilities.

If DuPont Dow makes these investments they could bring in an estimated $100 million in overall economic impact in Louisiana, according to Melancon.

“The commission was right when it originally found Japanese dumping in the U.S. neoprene market,” said Melancon.

“Reaffirming that finding will not only protect the jobs in LaPlace, but encourage significant investment there by DuPont Dow.”