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US mills seek to end Russian suspension accord

Keywords: Tags  Russia, suspension agreement, Nucor, Alan Price, Commerce Department, trade, hot-rolled, imports Nat Rudarakanchana

NEW YORK — A group of six U.S. steelmakers has asked the U.S. Commerce Department to terminate its longstanding suspension agreement with Russia over hot-rolled steel, arguing that the agreement hasn’t stopped Russian producers from undercutting prices or a 2014 surge in Russian imports.

Companies filing the July 10 petition include Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp., Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp., Chicago-based ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Ghent, Ky.-based Gallatin Steel Co., Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Steel Dynamics Inc., and SSAB Americas, Lisle, Ill.

"The suspension agreement has not prevented the suppression or undercutting of prices for U.S. hot-rolled steel for years," Alan Price, counsel for Nucor, said in a statement. He cited Commerce data showing that Russian hot-rolled imports rose by more than 1,400 percent year-to-date through June 2014 compared with the same period in 2013.

Commerce or Russia’s Ministry of Trade must give written notice in order to terminate the suspension agreement. Termination would not take effect until 60 days after such notice.

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