NEW YORK A Turkish rebar producer is challenging claims by U.S. rebar mills that May rumors of a trade case led to a surge in imports, arguing that Turkish producers should not be subject to retroactive duties.
"The evidence on the record does not support a finding of massive imports ... such that the requirements for a critical circumstances finding have not been met," counsel for Turkish rebar producer Icdas Celik Enerji Tersane ve Ulasim Sanayi AS (Icdas) said in a Dec. 18 filing with the Commerce Department.
Domestic mills said in their request for a "critical circumstances" finding that rebar imports increased 15.4 percent between May and Septemberbefore the trade case was filed Sept. 4compared with December 2012 through April due to market speculation that a trade case might be filed (amm.com, Dec. 5). If Commerce determines in the affirmative, retroactive duties would be applied on Turkish rebar imports.
Icdas objected to the period of comparison used to determine when a surge of imports took place, claiming that U.S. producers "cherry pick(ed) the optimal comparison period."
The standard period of investigating critical circumstances allegations is the 90 days after a case has been filed, on the assumption that imports may increase after a trade filing in order to beat duties, although Commerce sometimes makes exceptions, according to official guidelines.
Icdas pointed to trade data in its Dec. 18 response that shows imports had fallen more than 12 percent since the filing. "There is no reason to believe a massive surge has or will occur," it said.
Several traders have confirmed, however, that at least 90,000 tonnes of rebar are set to arrive in the United States in January (amm.com, Nov. 12)