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The ITC Votes To Continue Investigations on Galvanized/Galvalume Steels

Written by John Packard

The U.S. International Trade Commission voted today to continue their investigation of coated products (corrosion-resistant) which are primarily focused on hot dipped galvanized and Galvalume steels from China, India, Taiwan, South Korea and Italy. It was a foregone conclusion that the ITC would find enough of a threat for “material injury” to continue the investigation.

Here is the bulk of the press released received this afternoon from the ITC:

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is threatened with material injury by reason of imports of certain corrosion-resistant steel products from China, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

All six Commissioners voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its investigations on imports of these products from China, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan, with its preliminary countervailing duty determinations due on or about August 27, 2015, and its preliminary antidumping duty determinations due on or about November 10, 2015.

SMU asked trade attorney, Lewis Leibowitz to comment on the ITC commissioners vote and if there was anything unusual in what was reported by the ITC today.

He told us, “The vote (6-0 affirmative) was certainly no surprise.  The legal standard is whether there is a ‘reasonable indication’ of injury.”

He went on to point out, “The full ITC decision will not be available until mid-August.  The press release does not have much detail—but it does say that the Commission determined that there is a “reasonable indication that a U.S. Industry is threatened with material injury”.  This means that the Commission did NOT find a reasonable indication that the U.S. Industry is currently injured by the subject imports.  That is a potentially significant difference.  When the Commission finds a threat of injury, “critical circumstances” are very unlikely (not impossible but unlikely).  Critical circumstances would apply duties retroactively from the effective date of the Commerce preliminary determinations.”

Leibowitz continued, “The preliminary determination dates for the Commerce findings are August 27 (subsidies) and November 10 (dumping).  These could be extended.  Any announcement of extension should be at least 20 days in advance of the determination concerned.  Imports will not be subject to duties until the date of publication of the Commerce preliminary determinations (generally about a week after the announcement of the determinations).”

Lewis Leibowitz is the principal of The Law Office of Lewis E. Leibowitz in Washington, D.C. Mr. Leibowitz will be one of our featured speakers at this year’s Steel Summit Conference to be held in Atlanta on September 1st and 2nd. He will participate on a panel which consists of Kevin Dempsey, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) as well as Richard Chriss, General Director of the American Institute for International Steel.

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