Trump admin. halts the dumping of steel

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The U.S. Commerce Department announced on Friday its finding that exports of steel concrete reinforcing bar, commonly known as rebar, from Taiwan were dumped.

Dumping refers to a type of predatory pricing, especially in the context of international trade. When manufacturers export a product to another country at a price below the price charged in its home market or below the cost of its production, the product is said to have been dumped.

In August, the U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to announce whether Taiwan’s rebar exports hurt U.S. producers. If so, the finding would prompt an order to keep anti-dumping duties in place.

According to the Commerce Department, exporters from Taiwan had sold rebar in the United States at 3.50 percent to 32.01 percent less than fair value. Rebar imports from Taiwan into the United States in 2016 were estimated at $53 million.

Preliminary duties had been set at 3.48 percent to 29.47 percent in March.

“The United States can no longer sit back and watch as its essential industries like steel are destroyed by foreign companies unfairly selling their products in the U.S. markets,” said a quote by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in the statement.

“We will continue to take action on behalf of U.S. industry to defend American businesses, their workers, and our communities adversely impacted by unfair imports.”

The investigation was initiated following the submission of a petition requesting an investigation of rebar import from Japan, Turkey, and Taiwan. The petition was submitted by the Rebar Trade Action Coalition and members Bayou Steel Group, Byer Steel Group Inc, Commercial Metals Co, Gerdau Ameristeel U.S. Inc, Nucor Corp and Steel Dynamics Inc.

On June 16, the U.S. International Trade Commission announced their finding that rebar exports from Japan and Turkey hurt U.S. producers, which ensured that anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on rebar from those producers remained in effect.

Following is the official statement from the U.S. Department of Commerce released on Friday:

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced the affirmative final determination in this antidumping duty (AD) investigation, finding that steel concrete reinforcing bar from Taiwan is being sold in the U.S. market at unfair prices.

The Commerce Department determined that exporters from Taiwan have sold steel concrete reinforcing bar in the United States at 3.50 percent to 32.01 percent at less than fair value based on factual evidence provided by the interested parties.

The Commerce Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of steel concrete reinforcing bar from Taiwan based on these final rates.

“The United States can no longer sit back and watch as its essential industries like steel are destroyed by foreign companies unfairly selling their products in the U.S. markets,” said Secretary Ross. “We will continue to take action on behalf of U.S. industry to defend American businesses, their workers, and our communities adversely impacted by unfair imports.”

In 2016, imports of steel concrete reinforcing bar from Taiwan were valued at an estimated $53 million.

The Rebar Trade Action Coalition filed the case with the Commerce Department on behalf of its individual members:

  • Byer Steel Group, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Commercial Metals Co., Irving, Texas
  • Gerdau Armisteel U.S., Inc., Tampa, Fla.
  • Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C.
  • Steel Dynamics, Inc., Pittsboro, Ind.

Enforcement of U.S. trade law is a prime focus of the Trump administration. From January 20, 2017, through July 21, 2017, Commerce has initiated 54 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 40 percent increase from the previous year. For the same time period in 2016, Commerce had initiated 40 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.

Antidumping laws provide U.S. businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of dumping unfairly priced products into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 404 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is conducting an investigation to determine whether or not the domestic industry is harmed by imports of steel concrete reinforcing bar from Taiwan. The ITC is currently scheduled to make its final injury determination on or before September 5.

If the ITC makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue an antidumping order. If the ITC makes a negative final injury determination, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based solely on factual evidence.

Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to AD duties.

In fiscal year 2016, the United States collected $1.5 billion in duties on $14 billion of imported goods found to be underpriced or subsidized by foreign governments.

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