NEW YORK An importer of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) that are heat-treated and finished in Indonesia from Chinese green tube is fighting U.S. producers efforts to maintain countervailing and anti-dumping duties on the product, arguing that the product doesnt fall under the scope of the order.
Responding to a letter by Maverick Tube Corp., a unit of Luxembourg-based pipe and tube maker Tenaris SA, legal counsel for Gainesville, Texas-based Bell Supply Co. LLC refuted in an April 16 submission to the Commerce Departments International Trade Administration the producers claim that Chinese finishing operations in third-party countries are targeting the United States in such a way that "all OCTG grades produced in China may escape the orders with only minimal processing and value added in third countries."
"There is substantial value added from the green tube sales to the finished product. ... The Chinese green tube processed and finished by (Indonesian processor PT Citra Tubindo Tbk) is substantially transformed and its finished OCTG products are Indonesian, not Chinese, and thus are not in the scope of the OCTG orders and are not circumventing those orders," according to the submission by attorneys at Washington-based Morris, Manning & Martin LLP.
Domestic producers have argued that omitting such product from countervailing and anti-dumping duty orders would lead to a host of other processors in third-party countries being established, with the material subsequently flooding the U.S. market. One producer described the impact to the U.S. market as potentially "devastating" (amm.com, April 16).
But Bell questioned the basis for this claim. "The (anti-dumping and countervailing duty) petitions were filed four years ago, and the orders have been in place for three years," Bells submission said. "Where are these facilities?"
Bell also disputed that its supply agreement with Citra Tubindo was established specifically to circumvent the duties, noting that the deal was reached more than six months before the duties went into effect.