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ITC Affirms Injury from Six of Nine Countries Named in OCTG Trade Case

Written by Sandy Williams

The US International Trade Commission announced Friday that it will impose anti-dumping duties on imports from six of the nine countries accused by U.S. steel producers of dumping OCTG in the US market. The decision includes Korea, who was previously excluded in the preliminary decision, India, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam. The Philippines and Thailand will be exempt and Saudi Arabia was excluded from the final vote.

The decision was welcomed by US steel producers who have lobbied for penalties for months.

Mario Longhi, President and CEO of US Steel and a leading advocate for strong trade regulation, issued the following statement:

“United States Steel Corporation is pleased with the International Trade Commission’s affirmative final vote to impose anti-dumping orders against six of the nine countries that are dumping Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) into the market. U. S. Steel will continue to evaluate all of its options, including further litigation, with regards to Saudi Arabia, who was excluded from the International Trade Commission’s final vote as a result of an amended final determination from the Department of Commerce, and the two countries (Thailand and the Philippines), for which the ITC reached a negative determination.

“The International Trade Commission’s diligent and conscientious investigation and affirmative final vote clearly recognized that these six countries, which represent more than 90% of the unfairly traded imports that entered the U.S. market in 2013, imported OCTG using unfair methods and market distorting pricing. The dumped imports from all nine countries have caused material injury to the American market and the American worker. Orders have been reduced, mills idled and jobs have been lost.

“We are satisfied that the affirmative vote will ensure a more competitive and fairer OCTG market for American manufacturing and American workers. While U. S. Steel will continue on our own path toward sustainable profitability and to supply our customers with innovative steel solutions, we also intend to seek transformative, meaningful change to our trade laws to ensure that fairness will exist and is preserved, which can lead to a brighter future for American industry.”

The American Iron and Steel Institute issued a statement that it was pleased by the decision but disappointed that penalties were not imposed on the Philippines, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.

“The ITC’s decision is an important step toward providing the steel industry much needed relief against unfair trade,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. “American steel producers can compete with any other steel industry in the world, but we cannot compete with governments. The high level of imports of a number of steel products into the U.S. puts jobs and investments at risk. We need continued strong enforcement of our trade laws to combat these unfair imports, to level the playing field and to ensure a strong U.S. manufacturing base.”

Steel industry supporters Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) were pleased by the ITC’s decision.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for Ohio steel and for Ohio workers,” said Brown said. “The evidence is clear – and we’ve seen that the Commerce Department and ITC agree – that these companies are ignoring trade law and undermining American manufacturing. It’s past time to stand up for companies and give them the relief they need. The producers and workers in Youngstown, Warren, Lorain, Brookfield, and across Ohio can compete with anyone – as long as it’s a level playing field. Today’s news is a good step toward that goal.”

“I’m pleased with today’s ruling reaffirming that American manufacturers deserve to compete on a level playing field,” Portman stated. “Ohio pipe and tube companies are among the best in the world, but we must stand up to foreign competitors who break trade rules at the expense of Ohio workers.”

The ITC decision opens the way for new trade suits to be brought on light flat rolled steel (cold rolled and possibly coated steels – galvanized & Galvalume) from China and potentially Taiwan, India and South Korea.

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