WASHINGTON Foreign and
domestic steelmakers clashed Wednesday on the role of German
and South Korean corrosion-resistant steel in the U.S.
automotive and construction markets.
Steelmakers argued whether anti-dumping duty
orders on the product from both countries and a countervailing
duty order on material from Korea should be revoked at a U.S.
International Trade Commission (ITC) sunset review hearing
Existing dumping duties range from 10.02 percent for Germany to
17.7 percent for Korea, while the subsidy duty on Korean
product has been set at 1.15 percent.
The Commerce Departments
International Trade Administration ruled previously that
revocation of the dutiesfirst imposed in 1993likely
would lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping at
margins of at least 9.35 percent by German producers and at
least 12.85 percent by Korean producers (
amm.com, Dec. 5) and subsidy margins of at least
0.57 percent for Korean producers (
amm.com, May 9).
Domestic interests said
Wednesday that ThyssenKrupp AGs impending sale of its
Calvert, Ala., plant will mean that it will no longer supply
material domestically and it will increase imports from its
German plants, especially with the European economic
They also argued that with
Chinas growth in exports of corrosion-resistant product,
Korean mills will need to move excess supply to stronger
markets such as the United States.
"Korean mills are now more
dependent on exports ... (but) they (also) face severe
competition from mills in China," James C. Hecht, an attorney
at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, counsel for
petitioner Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp., said during the
hearing. "U.S. mills cannot afford price competition with
unfairly traded imports. Further, raw material costs have risen
dramatically ... (and U.S. producers) have struggled to make a
profit, with an operating income margin at a paltry 2.3 percent
from 2006 to 2011."
Foreign interests, however,
argued that the U.S. steel industry has strengthened since the
original imposition of the duties almost two decades ago, and
have benefited from a strong automotive sector due to
"Things have changed since 1993.
That was before we had internet, cell phones and before this
(U.S.) industry became world-class competitive," Donald B.
Cameron, an attorney at Morris, Manning & Martin LLP,
counsel for Korean steelmakers Dongbu Steel, Hyundai Hysco,
Posco, Posco C&C and Union Steel, said in opening remarks.
"Many of the U.S. producers have become or are in the process
of becoming vertically integrated. Even with the declines in
demand during the cycle as a result of the recession, the U.S.
industry has gained almost 8 percentage points of market share
and doubled operating income from the beginning to the end of
the period of review."
Other domestic petitioners
include AK Steel Corp., ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corp. and
Steel Dynamics Inc. Other foreign respondents include
ThyssenKrupp AG and its North American and European
subsidiaries, as well as Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH.