Steel Mills

JSW Slab Boycott Lawsuit Dismissed with Prejudice by Texas Court

Written by David Schollaert

JSW Steel (USA) and JSW Ohio’s lawsuit claiming Nucor, U.S. Steel and Cleveland-Cliffs conspired to stifle competition by denying semifinished steel slab to the company has been dismissed.

JSW USAThe lawsuit, filed on June 8, 2021, in federal court in Houson, alleged that three of the largest American steelmakers formed a cartel and conspired to cause direct harm to JSW by refusing to sell slab to its U.S. pipe- and plate-making operations after the Trump administration levied Section 232 tariffs on imported steel.

U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison, from the Southern District Court of Texas, last week dismissed all of JSW’s claims with prejudice. As a result of the ruling, JSW cannot refile the same claim again in that court.

“We greatly respect the court’s decision to dismiss JSW’s entire baseless case,” a U.S. Steel spokeswoman said. “The court saw right through JSW’s false claims that we and other American steelmakers refused to sell JSW steel slabs and conspired to advocate for and defend the Section 232 national security action on steel imports.”

“We are pleased with the judgement rendered,” a Cliffs spokeswoman said.

JSW and Nucor didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Though initially a supporter of Section 232, JSW wound up suing the U.S. government in 2019 for relief. The company said that the Commerce Department wrongfully denied its request for exclusions and forced it to pay tens of millions of dollars in tariffs. Domestic mills also filed objections with Commerce to oppose JSW’s exclusion requests.

Last year’s complaint against U.S. Steel, Nucor and Cliffs was based upon federal antitrust laws and Texas state laws. JSW alleged that the defendants used “anticompetitive tactics against smaller producers like JSW to succeed at all costs.”

Judge Ellison said JSW failed to prove a conspiracy and any antitrust injury.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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