NEW YORK The U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) has remanded a Commerce Department ruling that 4.75-millimeter wire rod produced by Mexicos Deacero SA de CV be subject to anti-dumping duties, leaving the door open for a reversal that could allow Deacero to freely export small-diameter wire rod to the United States.
The remand sends the case back to Commerce for reconsideration without overturning its decision.
Commerce set margins on 5- to 19-mm wire rod from Mexico in 2002, and has renewed those margins in sunset reviews, most recently in late October (amm.com, Oct. 24).
Deacero began shipping 4.75-mm wire rod to U.S. customers in 2009. It shipped 10,379 tonnes of wire rod to the United States in 2009 and 83,533 tonnes in 2010. The vast majority of the increase likely was 4.75-mm wire rod, in that it was the only type of wire rod not subject to anti-dumping duties at the time.
Domestic mills, including ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel, Gerdau Long Steel North America and Nucor Corp., asked Commerce to initiate a circumvention investigation in 2011, arguing that the smaller-sized wire rod constituted a "minor alteration" to the material and should be subject to the same dumping duties as 5-mm wire rod. Commerce ruled in September 2012 that 4.75-mm rod would not escape duties.
Mexican producers filed a complaint with the CIT in October 2012, alleging that 4.75-mm rod was not available in the United States and so should be excluded from the dumping order on 5- to 19-mm material. Deacero contends it is more efficient for certain companies, like Glenview, Ill.-based Illinois Tool Works Inc., to use 4.75-mm wire rod (amm.com, Oct. 31).
In its remand, the CIT said 4.75-mm wire rod was commercially available before the 2002 anti-dumping order was implemented but was not included within the original scope of the order. The court said Commerces argument in its circumvention determination that 4.75-mm wire rod was not specifically excluded from the order was a "rigid and ultimately flawed approach."
If Commerce finds another way to justify its ruling that the 4.75-mm wire rod circumvented duties, then Deacero could again fight the decision and take the case back to the CIT, according to a source close to the situation. The decision could eventually be appealed in the U.S. Court of Appeals, which would take it well into next year.