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ITA rebuffs South Korea meeting on OCTG

Keywords: Tags  OCTG imports, tarde case, Richard Weible, Sung Jun Choi, Commerce, International Trade Administration, ITA, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — The Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) has turned down a request by the South Korean embassy in Washington to discuss issues related to a trade case filed against producers of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from the Asian nation and eight other countries prior to a July 22 decision on whether to initiate an investigation.

The embassy wanted to clarify the scope of companies to be individually investigated, the issue of targeted dumping and the alleged injury to the domestic industry, Richard Weible, ITA director of anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations and reviews, wrote in a public filing.

"We informed commercial attache (Sung Jun) Choi that any discussion of the matters raised in Korea’s suggested agenda at a time prior to the department’s decision whether to initiate an anti-dumping investigation on OCTG would violate U.S. law, and therefore would not be acceptable topics of discussion at this time," Weible said.

Korea, which has a free-trade agreement with the United States, offered to send a delegation comprised of members from its Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy as well as its Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a potential meeting with the department, according to an e-mail sent to Weible by Choi attached to the filing.

Prior to Commerce’s decision, the ITA can only discuss "inquiries regarding the status of the administering authority’s consideration of the petition" or "issues dealing with the establishment of industry support," according to the filing.

Weible said the agency would be able to discuss the issues after the ITA decision on whether to initiate an investigation.

Choi could not be reached for comment.

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