Press Release - Senator Clinton Visits Cathedral Candle Company in Syracuse to Celebrate Recent Victory for U.S. Candle Makers Over Unfair Trade Practices
Clinton was part of congressional delegation that fought against candle imports unfairly circumventing U.S. trade laws
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the Cathedral Candle Company to celebrate a home-grown industry that that has a proud history in Syracuse and a recent victory over the unfair trade practices that threatened this industry's welfare. Senator Clinton, who toured the factory and spoke to workers during her visit, was a key member of the Congressional Delegation that had been fighting actions by candle producers and importers from China who were unfairly circumventing U.S. trade laws.
"This company is really a great example of a tradition of commitment to local roots, the local economy and the local community. But that tradition has been under threat for some time now from overseas producers and importers who have been unfairly circumventing our trade laws," Senator Clinton said. "Manufacturers like Cathedral Candle Company deserve a level playing field and we owe it to them to make sure that others can not get away with unfair trade practices."
"I am pleased that the Department of Commerce heeded our call to take action and recognized the importance of this decision to local producers and I am pleased that I can be here today to celebrate this victory for the Syracuse candle-making industry," Senator Clinton said. "I hope that we can continue this proud candle-making heritage, right here in Syracuse, for generations to come."
According to the National Candle Association, the Chinese candle producers and U.S. importers have engaged in widespread and aggressive efforts to circumvent the Antidumping Duty Order on petroleum wax candles from China. Since 1998, the wide-spread efforts by China producers and U.S. importers have more than tripled the import of Chinese candles that should be subject to the Antidumping Duty Order, based on their composition.
Last year, Senator Clinton joined her Congressional Colleagues in support of a National Candle Association petition alleging that candles imported from China were avoiding a 108.3% antidumping duty rate imposed on petroleum wax candles by the Department of Commerce, because they claimed to be primarily composed of palm and vegetable based wax, when the primary ingredient was petroleum wax.
Knowing that continued circumvention of the Antidumping Duty Order would cause irreparable harm to these companies and to domestic candle producers in general, and in support of companies like Cathedral Candle Company and others in Syracuse, Senator Clinton and her colleagues urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to take immediate action on the allegations.
Just last week their efforts were rewarded with a decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to require Chinese candle producers to comply with the Antidumping Duty Order on their mixed-wax imported candles and pay a 108.3% duty on those imports. The Department of Commerce's final determination effectively orders a 108.3% duty margin on mixed wax candles that contain up to 87.80% of palm and/or other vegetable oil-based waxes. The 108.3% duty will be retroactive to February 25, 2005, which was when the investigation commenced.
Cathedral Candle Company, opened in 1897, is owned and operated by the fourth generation of Steigerwalds. Cathedral still makes only church candles. The original factory, on Kirkpatrick Street in Syracuse, remains the core of today's expanded manufacturing facility. Assembly lines of molds, presses, and inventive automation devices built to Jacob Steigerwald's specifications still operate there today, along side modern state-of-the-art candle manufacturing equipment built to Cathedral's specifications.