Russia suspension deal may be terminated: ITA

May 29, 2012 | 02:55 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  Commerce, suspension agreement, Russian hot-rolled, Nucor, Alan Price

NEW YORK — The suspension agreement on hot-rolled steel from Russia may be terminated within four months if no compromise is reached to prevent alleged domestic price undercutting, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA).

The preliminary findings, dated May 23 and set to be published in the Federal Register at an as-yet-undisclosed date, are in response to an August request by petitioner Nucor Corp. to conduct an administrative review on the existing agreement for the July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, period of review. Interested parties include ArcelorMittal USA LLC, U.S. Steel Corp., Gallatin Steel Co., Steel Dynamics Inc. and SSAB Americas.

The existing suspension agreement between the United States and Russia, which went into effect in 1999 with the aim of ending pricing disputes, allows Russia to send steel to the U.S. market as long as it’s under a certain annual volume threshold and above a certain quarterly pricing point. The Russian government has been found to be in compliance with the agreement; however, with the cost of some raw materials now higher than Russia’s finished steel price threshold itself, some domestic mills contend the agreement no longer fulfills its intended role—a claim with which the ITA appears to agree.....

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