Trade Cases

Cliffs Challenges Decision to Sunset Brazilian CR Duties

Written by Laura Miller

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is disputing the US International Trade Commission’s recent decision to allow antidumping and countervailing duties on cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil to expire.

Cliffs logo2.2In July, the ITC completed five-year sunset reviews of the AD and CVDs on cold-rolled imports. While the agency decided that the duties should remain in place for China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the UK, it made a negative injury determination in regard to Brazil, which allowed those duties to expire.

The Cleveland-based flat rolled steelmaker is now challenging the ITC’s decision before the US Court of International Trade.

According to a court document obtained by SMU, Cliffs and other domestic producers argued in the sunset review that imports from all six countries, including Brazil, should be cumulated, and that they would be likely to cause material injury to the domestic industry upon revocation of the duties. The Commission was divided, however, in its ultimate decision not to cumulate the Brazilian product with the other subject imports.

The court complaint notes that “Commissioners relied heavily on the fact that the quota imposed on the cold-rolled steel imports from Brazil under section 232 … was ‘only’ 57,251 short tons,” whereas Korea’s annual quota limit is 141,108 short tons. Therefore they took into consideration that if the duties were allowed to expire for either country, Brazil could send far less cold rolled to the US than could Korea due to the quotas currently in place. They also relied on the assumption that 232 duties and quotas will remain in place for the foreseeable future. But Cliffs contends there is no guarantee of that.

Although the ITC ultimately issued the negative determination for Brazil, two members of the five-member Commission dissented from the decision.

Cliffs thinks the ITC’s ultimate decision wasn’t supported by evidence and is unlawful. The company is asking the CIT to remand the Commission’s final determination for Brazil to the ITC.

Cliffs did not have any additional comment for SMU beyond the court-filed complaint.

By Laura Miller,

Laura Miller

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