Questions should be asked whether anti-dumping and
countervailing suits such as the one filed recently against
producers of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) in nine countries
actually present a net gain for the U.S. economy, according to
counsel for a consumer advocacy group.
"If its like all
the other (dumping) cases, and I have no reason to believe that
it isnt, its going to do more harm than good,"
Lewis Leibowitz, partner at law firm Hogan Lovells US LLP and
counsel for the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition
(Citac), told AMM.
For example, jobs
could be lost in shipping and other industries tied to the
import of OCTG if the case is successful, he said. "The
question is whether it will cost more jobs in those areas than
it will save in the domestic industry."
The impact on the oil
and gas industry is tougher to predict. "If its going to
reduce the amount of wells being drilled, we dont know,"
Leibowitz said, as potentially higher prices due to tightening
supply following a potential victory in the case by the
domestic industry could be offset by positive market
developments. "That (supply) reduction may be overwhelmed by
other positive factors."
The cost of OCTG does
not play a decisive role in considering the total price of a
well since it typically is dwarfed by other expenses, according
The filing comes as
companies such as Germanys Benteler Steel/Tube GmbH and
Luxembourg-based Tenaris SA announced plans to build seamless
OCTG mills in the United States for $900 million and $1.5
billion, respectively, while Frances Vallourec SA
recently inaugurated a $650-million seamless OCTG mill in
"They (OCTG producers)
have a lot of money on the line, a lot of debt," Leibowitz
Both Tenaris and
Vallourec are petitioners in the case through domestic
The domestic industry
is seeking anti-dumping duties on OCTG from India, the
Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand,
Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam and countervailing duties on
shipments from India and Turkey (
amm.com, July 2).
It is one of the
biggest multi-country trade cases to be filed so far this
century, according to an industry source. "It could probably be
viewed as a signal of things to come as the steel market
deteriorates due to global overcapacity. Its getting
worse rather than better," he said.