NEW YORK The U.S. Court
of International Trade (CIT) has dismissed a challenge by a
number of U.S. producers on the removal of anti-dumping duties
on stainless steel sheet and strip from Mexico.
The appeal dates back to 2011,
when AK Steel Corp., ATI Allegheny Ludlum Corp. and North
American Stainless Inc. (NAS) challenged a U.S. International
Trade Commission (ITC) ruling that effectively removed
anti-dumping duties on the shipments from Mexico (
amm.com, Sept. 2, 2011).
ThyssenKrupp AGs expansion
into the United States played a key role in the ITCs
decision to lift the duties. The commission cited testimony
from a ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA LLC executive who said the
company had the authority to veto imports from its Mexican
affiliate, Mexinox SA de CV, that could harm the Alabama
plants sales (
amm.com, Aug. 17, 2011).
The domestic industry claimed
that the ITCs cumulation, volume and price effects
determinations, as well as its decision to rely on
ThyssenKrupps local supply strategy, were unsupported by
The U.S. producers said
ThyssenKrupps intention to sell a majority stake in its
stainless steel business is a cause for concern because there
is "no reason to anticipate that the TK strategies and plans
would be followed by the new owner, who would have operational
Earlier this month, the European
Commission approved the proposed $3.46-billion merger of
Outokumpu Oyj and Inoxum Group, ThyssenKrupps stainless
amm.com, Nov. 7).
The CIT disagreed with the U.S.
producers, saying that any future owners of the company likely
would pursue the existing local supply strategy.
David Hartquist, an attorney at
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP and counsel for AK Steel, ATI and
NAS, said he was "disappointed" in the decision and was unsure
if the case would be brought to a higher court. "We were
disappointed in the way the decision was reasoned ... (in
respect) to whats going to happen and what impact a
change of ownership potentially may have in the way they handle
their operations," he told AMM.
The court also dismissed the
domestic industrys claim that Mexico has significant
amounts of "excess production capacity" and would shift
production of cut-to-length plate to stainless steel sheet and
strip, noting that cut-to-length plate is value-added so there
is little incentive to do so.
The domestic industrys
arguments "are insufficient to unsettle the commissions
reasonable likely volume determination, as they are merely an
invitation for this court to reweigh record evidence in its
favor," CIT Senior Judge Nicholas Tsoucalas said in his
Counsel for the foreign
producers could not be reached.