Steel Mills

NLMK USA Files Complaint with USCIT

Written by Sandy Williams

NLMK USA has filed a complaint with  the U.S. Court of International Trade alleging that NLMK’s requests for steel slab exclusions from Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act have been wrongfully denied.

The Indiana and Pennsylvania mills use imported steel slab to process into finished products. The 250-255 mm thick slab (nominally “10 inch”) cannot be sourced from slab producers in the U.S. The company also uses thinner slabs, about 10 percent of its volume, but has never been able to purchases more than 20 percent of its requirement domestically in any given month, said NLMK.

AK Steel, Nucor and U.S. Steel have filed objections to NLMK USA’s request for tariff exemption. None of the three are able to supply the required volume and types of slabs that NLMK requires, said the company in its USCIT complaint.

“In denying NLMK USA’s exclusion requests and sustaining the objections, the Department of Commerce undertook no effort to verify the objectors’ claims, ignored the evidence that these companies are unable and/or unwilling to produce the subject products in the required quality or quantity, and failed even to offer any reasoned basis for its decisions,” said NLMK.

Since the Section 232 tariffs were imposed, NLMK USA has been able to source domestically only about 3 percent of its total requirement. The rest of its slab requirement has been imported, resulting in the payment of nearly $170 million in tariffs.

The company is requesting the court to declare Commerce’s denial of NLMK’s request for exemption unlawful and to recognize the company’s right to a refund.

Russian steel producer NLMK Group owns and operates three steel mills in Indiana and Pennsylvania. Since acquiring the mills, NLMK has invested more than $800 million in the facilities. NLMK USA employs 1,200 workers and said it generates another 8,400 indirect jobs. The company supplies more than 90 manufacturing customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia.

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