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Brazilian anti-dumping cases vs. China set to rise

Keywords: Tags  China imports, Brazilian dumping investigations, Joseph Dorn, Christopher Cloutier, King & Spalding, steel, iron ore, Chinese products steel pipe

SÃO PAULO — The number of Brazilian anti-dumping investigations involving China is expected to rise over the next few years as local companies become "more aware" of their trade defense options.

China is involved in only one-third of the ongoing anti-dumping cases in the nation, but its share is rising, Joseph W. Dorn and Christopher T. Cloutier, from New York-based law firm King & Spalding LLP, told AMM sister publication Steel First.

"If you see other countries in Latin America, this share in Brazil is lower," Cloutier said, citing levels of about 50 percent in Peru and up to 100 percent in Colombia. "The likelihood is that China’s (share of anti-dumping cases) will increase in Brazil."

Dorn and Cloutier, both partners in King & Spalding’s International Trade Practice Group, recently visited Brazil to present a study commissioned by the country’s National Confederation of Industry on Chinese industrial policies. The study focuses on several sectors, including the steel industry, and outlines the options available to Brazilian industries that are "harmed by subsidized Chinese products."

Since 2009, China has been Brazil’s largest trading partner. And while Brazil increasingly imports value-added and high-technology goods from China, its exports to the Asian nation are mainly limited to primary products and low-value added goods destined for the Chinese export-oriented manufacturing sector, according to the study.

More than 75 percent of Brazil’s recent exports to China are commodities such as iron, soybeans and oil, while Chinese companies have been focusing on shipments of high value-added products to Brazil, Dorn said.

Brazilian imports of iron and steel products from China stood at $1.83 billion in 2011, more than seven times the $25.8 million level seen in 2002, according to the study.

The rise in anti-dumping cases in Brazil over the past couple of years shows a "very clear trend" toward a more effective trade defense area in the country, Cloutier noted.

This is particularly true in steel, with local companies showing greater interest in learning the tools to request dumping investigations.

"We have every reason to believe that imports of Chinese steel will continue in Brazil, as overcapacity makes steel very cheap in China," he said.

There are now five anti-dumping investigations on steel imports in Brazil—and all of them involve China.

The products being analysed include heavy plates from China, South Korea, Ukraine and South Africa; seamless pipe from China; welded austenitic stainless steel pipe from China and Taiwan; austenitic stainless cold-rolled coil from Germany, China, South Korea, Finland, Taiwan and Vietnam; and non-grain oriented electrical flat steel products from China, Taiwan and South Korea.

"The number of countervailing duty investigations (against China) is expected to increase (after December 2016)," Cloutier said, reffering to the expiration of China’s automatic recognition as a non-market economy for anti-dumping purposes.

A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.

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