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Steel Makers Urge Antidumping Action

Thursday, June 11, 2015

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WASHINGTON--Six U.S. steel producers are alleging unfairly traded imports of corrosion-resistant steel from China, India, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan are causing material injury to the U.S. industry.

The manufacturers have filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with both the Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission.

The flow of steel is underwritten by "significant subsidies" from the governments of those countries, the group added in its June 3 announcement.

ChineseSteel
wghongxing88.en.made-in-china.com

Imports of corrosion-resistant steel from China (pictured), India, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan jumped by 85 percent in two years and are still increasing, U.S. steel makers say.

The companies want the U.S. to impose countervailing duties (also known as anti-subsidy duties) to neutralize the negative effects of those subsidies.

The petitioning companies are Steel Dynamics Inc., AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal USA, California Steel Industries, Nucor Corp. and U.S. Steel Corp.

85% Spike

"Imports of corrosion-resistant sheet steel between 2012 and 2014 from the five subject countries increased 85 percent, from 1.5 million to 2.75 million tons," the companies said.

In 2014, the countries exported more than $2.2 billion of corrosion-resistant steel to the United States.

Furthermore, imports increased by one-third just in the first quarter of 2015—from 600,000 to 800,000 tons—and, based on licensing data, have increased again in the second quarter, the companies said.

More than 15 percent of the U.S. market was lost to the imports, which more than doubled their market share between 2012 and the first quarter of 2015.

What's Being Dumped

Corrosion-resistant steel is steel sheet that has been coated or plated with a corrosion- or heat-resistant metal to prevent corrosion. Most of the steel now at issue is coated with zinc, aluminum, or any of several zinc-aluminum alloys.

Steel MarkMillett
"The surge of unfairly traded imports of corrosion-resistant steel has materially impacted our shipments, pricing and profitability," said Steel Dynamics' Mark Millett, whose coil coating line in Jeffersonville, IN, is at left.
Steel Dynamics

Corrosion-resistant steel is widely used in infrastructure and construction applications such as bridge decks, guard rails, culverts, roofing, siding and hardware.

The material is also used in the manufacture of automobiles, trucks, appliances, industrial equipment and agricultural equipment.  

'Tidal Wave'

"The surge of unfairly traded imports of corrosion-resistant steel has materially impacted our shipments, pricing and profitability," Steel Dynamics president and CEO Mark Millett said in a statement.

"Corrosion-resistant flat rolled steel is one of our more important products, and the restoration of fair trade will benefit our customers, our employees and our communities."   

AK Steel chairman, president and CEO James L. Wainscott said U.S. steel makers were being buried by a "tidal wave of what we believe are unfairly dumped and subsidized imports of corrosion-resistant steel coming into this country."

Wainscott said the imports "have seriously impacted pricing in the U.S. market, which has resulted in a significant negative effect on our production, sales, and earnings.”

The other companies offered no immediate comment.

Margins and Subsidies

The petitions allege dumping margins as follows:

Country Dumping Margins Alleged

China

120.20%

India

71.09%

Italy

123.76%

South Korea

80.06%

Taiwan

84.40%

The petitions also allege numerous government subsidy programs in each of the five countries. They say the price declines that U.S. producers have suffered will continue if duties "are not imposed to level the playing field."

AKSteel
AK Steel

AK Steel's CEO says its products are losing out to a "tidal wave" of "dumped and subsidized imports."

Anti-dumping duties are intended to offset the amount by which a product is sold at less than fair value, or “dumped,” in the United States. The margin of dumping is calculated by the Commerce Department. Estimated duties in the amount of the dumping are collected from importers at the time of importation.

Counter-vailing duties are intended to offset subsidies provided by foreign governments and benefit the production of a particular good.

Next Steps

The USITC, an independent agency, will determine whether the domestic industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of the unfairly traded imports.

Under the unfair-trade statutes, the ITC must make a preliminary injury ruling within 45 days and the DOC will issue preliminary duty rulings by the end of 2015 with final rulings by both agencies completed by mid-2016.

   

Tagged categories: Government; Infrastructure; Shop-applied coatings; Steel; Structural steel

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