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Russia Contests HRC Duties

Written by Sandy Williams

Russia says removing the U.S. suspension agreement on flat rolled steel from Russia is “inconsistent with WTO rules.”

The fifteen year old suspension that protected Russian manufacturers from antidumping duties on hot-rolled, flat rolled and carbon quality steel was lifted on Dec. 19. Russian steel manufacturers are now subject to antidumping duties ranging from 74 percent to 185 percent.

In a Dec. 12 letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Alexander Stadnik, Russian trade representative to the U.S., claims the duties were calculated on outdated rates from the initial investigation fifteen years ago. Further, the methodology used was meant for non-market economies, a status that the US agreed Russia left in 2002.

“Since the original investigation Russia has joined the WTO, and has implemented further market reforms that have increased the transparency and predictability of its marketplace, and thus made it easier for foreign firms to compete in Russia and have therefore expanded competition within that market,” said Stadnik in the letter. “In this case, imposing a non-market economy rate is inconsistent with the WTO rules.”

US steelmakers claim the duties are necessary to protect the domestic industry from unfairly priced imports. (Source: Reuters)

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