NEW YORK AK Steel Corp. and Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) "unequivocally oppose" Russian steelmaker Novolipetsk Steels (NLMK) proposed agreement with the U.S. Commerce Department that would suspend anti-dumping duties on the companys grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) product imports.
In a May 22 letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, AK Steel, ATI, the United Steelworkers union and the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers (UAW) union objected to Commerce "entering into consultations with NLMK regarding a suspension agreement."
"Petitioners oppose any such suspension agreement," David A. Hartquist and John M. Herrmann of Washington-based Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, which represents the domestic GOES industry in the trade petition, wrote in the letter. Commerce "has already assigned a preliminary margin to NLMK based on fact available, with adverse inferences. The department also preliminary determined that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of GOES from Russia."
NLMKs "unwillingness to provide information to the best of its ability in this investigation leaves petitioners skeptical that a suspension agreement could provide the relief they seek from unfairly traded GOES from Russia," the lawyers wrote in the letter.
NLMK on May 20 asked Commerce to suspend its anti-dumping duty investigation, and offered "to make any necessary price revisions to eliminate completely" the amount by which Commerce determined the company was dumping GOES material in the United States (amm.com, May 21).
Commerce issued an affirmative preliminary determination May 5 in the anti-dumping investigation against GOES imports from Russia and six other countries (amm.com, May 5), assigning NLMK imports a dumping margin of 119.88 percent and noting that the Lipetsk, Russia-based company "failed to provide complete and adequate responses to Commerces questionnaires."
Commerce also issued a margin of 68.98 percent for all other Russian GOES producers and exporters, and ruled in favor of "critical circumstances" allegations made against Russian imports by the petitioners in February (amm.com, Feb. 24).
NLMK accounted for at least 85 percent of all Russian GOES shipments to the United States in 2013, the company said in the proposed suspension agreement. U.S. imports of all Russian GOES were valued at $3.4 million last year.
West Chester, Ohio-based AK Steel and Pittsburgh-based ATI were responsible for all domestic GOES production in 2013. The companies joined USW in filing the anti-dumping petition in September (amm.com, Sept. 18).
Neither an NLMK legal representative nor Alexey Teterin, the Russian Trade Representative in the United States, could be reached for comment.
Commerce "does not comment on any agreement-related discussions that may or may not take place," a spokesman for the agency told AMM.
A final determination in the GOES case is expected from Commerce on or about Sept. 16.