Trade Cases

ITC votes not to impose duties on tin mill product imports

Written by Laura Miller

At the final hour, the trade case investigating unfairly traded imports of tin mill products has been terminated.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted on Tuesday, Feb. 6, to terminate the case against South Korea. The agency also voted negatively that the imports from Canada, Germany, and China are injuring the US domestic industry.

The ITC’s final vote means the trade case is ending without the imposition of duties.

The trade case was filed in January 2023 by Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and the United Steelworkers (USW) union. The petitioners had sought antidumping duties on tin- and chromium-coated sheet steel from Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and the UK, as well as countervailing duties against China.

The ITC heard final arguments in the case early last month.

The US Commerce Department also made its final decision in January, finding minuscule dumping rates for all countries except China. Commerce had determined the imports from China were dumped and subsidized at rates as high as 122% and 650%, respectively.

However, it is the ITC’s final injury ruling in trade cases that determines whether duties at those rates are imposed. In this case, it ruled that the imports are not harming the domestic industry.

In a statement sent to SMU, Cleveland-Cliffs said it and the USW “clearly demonstrated material inujury to the domestic industry” in this case.

“Unfortunately, the International Trade Commission was unpersuaded by our arguments. While we are disappointed by today’s ITC determination, we must respect the ruling of the Commission,” Cliffs said.

The USW did not respond to a request for comment.

Laura Miller

Read more from Laura Miller

Latest in Trade Cases

Leibowitz: Could change at the ITC keep Weirton tin mill open?

The International Trade Commission (ITC) voted earlier this month against imposing antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of tin mill products from four countries. When Cliffs filed trade cases on tin mill products in early 2023, the company claimed that the failure to get massive duties on imports would result in the closure of its mill in Weirton, W.Va. We don’t know the reasoning behind this decision, only that all four sitting Commissioners voted not to impose duties. We do know that Cliffs plans to close Weirton.

Leibowitz on trade: Consumers win one at the ITC

Last week, steel consumers prevailed in a rare victory over US petitioners in trade cases on tin mill steel products. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4—0 that Cleveland-Cliffs, the sole remaining domestic producer of tin mill products (used to make containers such as “tin cans”) was neither injured nor threatened with injury by imports of competing products from Canada, China, and Germany. Imports from South Korea were found to be “negligible,” and the investigation on Korean imports was terminated.