Steel Corp. laid out its arguments against imports of
non-oriented electrical steel (NOES) before the International
Trade Commission (ITC) Nov. 6, alleging that low-priced imports
from six countries had dealt a "devastating blow" to the
companys financial results and electrical steel
AK filed a trade
petition against NOES imports from China, Germany, Japan, South
Korea, Sweden and Taiwan in late September (
amm.com, Sept. 30). The ITC heard arguments from AK
Steel executives and legal representatives, who said there was
"no question that AK Steels NOES operations (have been)
materially injured" by imports of the material from China,
Germany, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan.
"The result has been
extremely detrimental," Eric Petersen, AK Steels vice
president of sales and customer service, told ITC staffers. "We
are at the point where our prices are unsustainable and we
cannot reduce them (further).
"Due to lost sales
volume, our (NOES) capacity is grossly underutilized," Petersen
added. "Our customers indicate that subject imports are
underselling (NOES material) on average by 25 percent."
The commission staff
also heard testimonies from NOES producers from the six
countries as well as importers, who countered that West
Chester, Ohio-based AK Steels NOES operations had been
hurt primarily by competition from alternative products, namely
cold-rolled motor lamination (CRML) steel.
"There is a
substantial overlap between NOES and CRML steel for many lower-
and middle-range applications," said Jonathan Weinstein, vice
president of sales for Fort Lee, N.J.-based Metallia USA LLC,
which imports NOES from Taiwan into the U.S. market on behalf
of China Steel Corp. "Many customers have shifted their need
from NOES to CRML, and this has taken a lot of business away
from AK Steel."
staff manager at Tokyo-based JFE Steel Corp., said AK
Steels position as the only domestic producer of NOES
left the market "exposed" to a single source of supply.
"I strongly question
AK Steels ability to supply the entire U.S. market,"
Azeyanagi said, citing the unplanned outage at the
companys Middletown, Ohio, blast furnace facility earlier
this year as proof that "supply chain issues are a very real
concern" that necessitate imports.
AK Steel filed a
similar petition, alongside Pittsburgh-based producer Allegheny
Technologies Inc. (ATI) and the United Steelworkers union,
against imports of grain-oriented electrical steel from seven
amm.com, Sept. 18).
Commerce will announce
its decision whether to initiate anti-dumping and
countervailing duty investigations against NOES imports Nov. 7.
Commerce announced Oct. 25 that it would pursue the GOES
investigations filed by AK Steel, ATI and the USW.