Trade Cases

SDI Targets Japan with Circumvention Case Against Vietnamese Coated Sheet

Written by Michael Cowden

Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) has filed a duty circumvention case against coated flat-rolled steel from Vietnam made from Japanese substrate.

The Fort Wayne, Ind.-based steelmaker thinks that “minor alterations” such as coating represent an attempt to circumvent existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil from Japan.


The U.S. Commerce Department has already ruled in favor of domestic steelmakers in similar cases targeting coated product made in Vietnam from substrate melted in China, Taiwan and South Korea.

Japanese hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil have been “following the same path” that substrate from China, Taiwan and South Korea did previously, SDI said in a filing earlier this month written by Washington, D.C.-based law firm Schagrin Associates and addressed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

“In each case, the circuitous production path has allowed the continuation of low-priced imports that remain injurious to the domestic steel industry,” the filing alleged.

SDI also noted that successful circumvention cases had been filed against coated product from the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Costa Rica originating from Chinese substrate and against coated product from Malaysia originating from Taiwanese substrate.

The text of the filing in addition raised the prospect of duty circumvention cases being extended to other countries already subject to antidumping and/or countervailing duty orders on hot-rolled, cold-rolled rolled or coated product resulting from a raft of trade petitions filed in 2015-16.

That list includes not only Japan but also Australia, Brazil, China, India, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Domestic mills will have a hard time claiming they need relief after posting record quarterly profits thanks to U.S. steel prices that are the highest in the world, some market observers said. But others said the case – should it serve as a template for future cases – has the potential to alter the domestic supply landscape.

The petition also comes as some North American mills have expressed concern about lower priced coated products – such as galvanized and Galvalume – potentially making substantial inroads against domestic steel in the first half of 2022.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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