TORONTO India is
disputing U.S. countervailing duties imposed against certain
steel products from the South Asian nation, the World Trade
Organization (WTO) said Thursday.
India requested consultations
with the United States in a move that formally initiates the
dispute process, which gives each side a chance to negotiate
without entering into to litigation. If no agreement is reached
within 60 days, India can request adjudication before a WTO
panel, the agency said.
Specific steel products were not
identified by the WTO, but the U.S. Commerce Department on
March 27 announced affirmative preliminary countervailing duty
rates on circular welded carbon-quality steel pipe from India,
Vietnam, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Indian producers
and exporters received a preliminary rate of 285.95 percent
(AMM, March 28).
The petitioners were Allied Tube
& Conduit Corp., Harvey, Ill.; JMC Steel Group Inc.,
Chicago; Wheatland Tube Co., Sharon, Pa.; and U.S. Steel Corp.,
After the Commerce announcement,
Mumbai, India-based Welspun Corp. Ltd. said that its U.S.
facilities stood to benefit from the preliminary import duties.
It noted that it wasnt shipping any product covered by
the duties to the United States.
Welspun is investing $100
million to build a 175,000-tonne-per-year electric-resistance
welded (ERW) pipe and coating plant in Little Rock, Ark., to
serve its North American customers (AMM, Feb. 24).
Welspun Little Rock plant is
aimed at displacing imports, it has said, noting the duties
would "protect" U.S. domestic industry and "have a positive
impact" on Welspun operations there.