NEW YORK The
U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determined in a
unanimous vote Aug. 16 that there is a reasonable indication
that the U.S. oil country tubular goods (OCTG) industry is
being materially injured by imports from India, the
Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand,
Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.
"We are very pleased
with the results," said Alan Price, partner at Washington-based
Wiley Rein LLP and counsel to domestic petitioner Maverick Tube
Corp., Chesterfield, Mo., a subsidiary of Luxembourg-based
The preliminary vote
applied to anti-dumping cases against all nine countries and
countervailing cases against India and Turkey(
amm.com, July 2).
The American Iron and
Steel Institute (AISI) also applauded the decision.
"The U.S. laws against
unfair trade exist to counter market-distorting practices, like
dumping and subsidies, and to restore conditions of fair
trade," president and chief executive officer Thomas Gibson
said in a statement.
"U.S. companies and
their workers deserve to have a fair shake, and we applaud
todays vote as an important move towards providing U.S.
steel producers relief from unfairly traded OCTG imports," he
Others argued against
the ITC decision saying it would unfairly affect relationships
between US buyers and their suppliers.
"This decision by the
ITC can be expected to disrupt longstanding supply
relationships and reflects an abusive use of the trade laws.
With a profitable and growing industry in the U.S., along with
growing demand for OCTG from all sources, domestic and
imported, this is not an industry that needs trade protection,"
David Phelps, president of the American Institute for
International Steel (AIIS), said in a statement, although he
acknowledged that "some overly aggressive suppliers had created
an inventory overhang in the U.S. market."
AIIS chairman John
Foster added that the ruling and the subsequent continuation of
the case will "disrupt needed trade channels for over a
One trader told AMM he
did not expect an immediate impact from the decision, which he
said was largely expected.
"The ITC rarely throws
anything out at this stage; if something gets thrown out it
will get thrown out at the end stage," the trader said, adding
that until preliminary decisions are made by the Commerce
Department and importers have to post cash deposits or bonds,
material would continue to flow in to the United States.
cheap material arriving now and plenty of it," he said.
However, imports are
likely to dwindle if the preliminary determinations finds that
the domestic industry is being injured, and prices should begin
to rise once inventories are reduced, as market participants
relying on imported material will have limited supply options
and will likely face higher prices, traders said.
The trader said
initial discussions with some producers from countries not
included in the case showed that "their prices are
substantially higher, so eventually there will have to be an
impact from this."
Commerce has until
Sept. 25 to make its preliminary decisions in the
countervailing cases and until Dec. 9 in the anti-dumping
cases, unless extensions are granted.
against India allegedly range from 12.67 to 239.64 percent;
Korea from 66.19 to 158.53 percent; the Philippines from 46.04
to 56.38 percent; Saudi Arabia at 53.34 percent; Taiwan from
68.44 to 70.98 percent; Thailand at 118.32 percent; Turkey from
44.52 to 47.20 percent; Ukraine from 25.75 to 30.76 percent;
and Vietnam from 103.43 to 111.47 percent.
Subsidy rates for
India and Turkey were not specified, but will be above 2
percent, the ITC said.
Petitioners in the case are Boomerang Tube LLC,
Chesterfield, Mo.; Energex Tube, a division of Chicago-based
JMC Steel Group Inc.; Maverick Tube Corp., a subsidiary of
Luxembourg-based Tenaris SA; Northwest Pipe Co., Vancouver,
Wash.; Tejas Tubular Products, Houston; TMK Ipsco, a subsidiary
of Russias OAO TMK; U.S. Steel Corp., Pittsburgh;
Vallourec Star LP, a subsidiary of Frances Vallourec SA;
and Welded Tube USA Inc., the domestic subsidiary of Welded
Tube of Canada Ltd., Concord, Ontario.