Steel Trade Cases: The Steel Supply Chain

Background on Steel Trade Cases

To achieve economic and political objectives, many countries use industrial policies aimed at nurturing their domestic steel industry through trade protection and subsidies.

The U.S. steel industry claims to aspire only for a globally level playing field for international trade and commerce. So, the U.S. steel industry utilizes anti-dumping (to offset product sold below fair market value) and countervailing (to offset unfair subsidies) duty laws that require a significant amount of time, money, and resources to prepare and file. It also requires the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) to evaluate and determine if injury has occurred.

Recent Trade Case Activity

The 2015 year was filled with steel trade cases being petitioned and filed by many of the U.S. steel mills. Here is a recap of what we have seen recently:

The U.S. steel industry filed petitions in 2015.

  • Corrosion resistant material from China, India, Italy, South Korea, and Taiwan
  • Cold-rolled from Brazil, China, India, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, and United Kingdom
  • Hot-rolled from Australia, Brazil, Japan, and the Netherlands

Federal government passes Trade Preferences Extension Act (TPA) of 2015 providing an easier path of relief.

  • Material injury is no longer defined as an ‘unprofitable industry’ for several quarters and no recent improvement
  • Uncooperative parties named in petitions can now be assigned extremely high margins
  • The DOC can disregard certain distortive data that it previously could not

Latest Update on Steel Trade Cases

Now what you may be wondering is, does all this activity have an outcome or will it see the light at the end of the tunnel? It appears 2016 will see conclusions to these cases.

Corrosion Resistant Steels

Preliminary anti-dumping and countervailing duties of well over 200% for China and modest penalties of less than 10% for other countries have been established. Final determinations are currently expected to be announced on May 19, 2016.

Cold Rolled Steel

Preliminary determinations are scheduled to be announced on February 24, 2016, and final determinations are currently scheduled to be announced on May 10, 2016.

Hot Rolled Steel

Preliminary countervailing duties of 7% for Brazil have been placed. Preliminary anti-dumping determinations expected on March 9, 2016, and final determinations are currently scheduled for countervailing duties on March 24, 2016 and anti-dumping on May 24, 2016.

For more information on the steel supply chain contact your local sales representative.

 

By: Tony Hammes
Vice President Supply Chain
OFR Metals