US starts inquiry into steel imports from India, four others

27 June 2015

The US government has initiated investigations to determine whether to impose antidumping and countervailing duties on import of corrosion-resistant steel products from India and four other countries.

On Wednesday, "the US Department of Commerce announced initiation of AD and CVD investigations on imports of corrosion-resistant steel products from India, China, Italy, Korea and Taiwan", a US Department of Commerce official told PTI.

The investigations have been opened after six major US steel producers on June 3 filed AD and CVD petitions charging unfairly traded imports of corrosion-resistant steel from these countries, he added.

According to US Steel Corp, Nucor Corp, Steel Dynamics, ArcelorMittal USA, AK Steel Corp and California Steel Industries these imports are causing material injury to the US domestic industry and that significant subsidies have been provided to producers by the governments of those countries.

The petitions have been filed both with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission (USITC).

Corrosion-resistant steel products are used in the construction industry and also in manufacturing automobiles, trucks, appliances, industrial and agricultural equipment.

According to a joint statement by the six steel makers, the foreign producers benefit from numerous countervail-able subsidies. They identify 48 different subsidy programmes in China, 88 in India, 12 in Italy, 43 in Korea and 22 in Taiwan.

The petitions were filed on the back of increasing volume of low-priced imports of corrosion-resistant steel from the subject countries over the past three years that have injured US producers, the statement added.

Imports of corrosion-resistant steel from the five countries increased by 85 per cent between 2012 and 2014, from 1.5 million tonnes (MT) to 2.75 MT, it said.

Subject imports increased further in the first quarter of 2015 from 600,000 to 800,000 tonnes.

In 2014, the five nations exported over $2.2 billion of corrosion-resistant steel to the US, it added.

According to the official, USITC is scheduled to make its preliminary injury determinations by July 20, 2015. If the inquiry determines that there is a reasonable indication that these imports materially injure or threaten material injury to the domestic industry, the investigations will continue.

Commerce Department will also be scheduled to make its preliminary CVD determinations in August 2015 and preliminary AD determinations in November 2015, unless statutory deadlines are extended.

If the USITC's preliminary inquiry results are otherwise, the investigations will be terminated, he added.

The entire investigative process takes around a year with final determination of dumping, subsidisation and injury likely to come out by the summer of 2016 , the official said.