NEW YORK Omitting Chinese
oil country tubular goods (OCTG) that are heat-treated and
finished in third-party countries from countervailing and
anti-dumping duties could be "absolutely devastating for the
U.S. industry," according to counsel for U.S. Steel Corp.
Prior to the imposition of the
duties in 2010, "massive" shipments from the Asian nation
"literally shut down or idled the vast majority of the U.S.
industry." The same fate awaits the U.S. market if the
exemption is made, as "vast excess capacity" for the product
still exists in China, attorneys at Washington law firm
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP wrote in an April
11 submission to Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca
But Bell Supply Co. LLC, a
Gainesville, Texas-based importer of Chinese green tube
processed in Indonesia, argued that the finishing represents a
"substantial transformation," and thus should alter the
products country of origin. This would be consistent with
a 2010 finding by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"(PT Citra Tubindo Tbks)
OCTG products are Indonesian, not Chinese," attorneys at
Morris, Manning & Martin LLP, Washington, counsel for Bell,
said in a submission to the Commerce Departments
International Trade Administration (ITA). Bell distributes OCTG
that is heat treated and finished by the Indonesian processor
from Chinese substrate.
Bells counsel also
disagreed with the assessment by Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel
that the transformed tube should automatically be covered under
the orders, as there was no explicit reference to the product
when the duties were set.
The ITA initiated a scope
inquiry June 20 following a request for clarification by the
domestic industry in March 2012.