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Nucor opposes anti-dumping system change

Keywords: Tags  Nucor, steel, anti-dumping duty, prospective, retrospective, Rick Blume


NEW YORK — The implementation of a prospective anti-dumping duty system would lead to “abuse on a massive scale,” a top Nucor Corp. executive said in testimony before a U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

“(W)e do not believe replacing the current ‘retrospective’ system with a so-called prospective system would improve enforcement,” Rick Blume, general manager of commercial for Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor’s steelmaking group, said July 16.

“The current retrospective system is the only accurate way to measure the actual amount of unfair trade and determine the appropriate relief. In contrast, a prospective system would allow abuse on a massive scale and weaken trade enforcement,” he said.

Under the U.S. retrospective system, anti-dumping duties can be adjusted in an administrative review a year after an investigation has been completed—if requested by parties in the case. Duties are not finalized upon entry of foreign merchandise. 

A prospective system sets duties from the date the investigation is completed. Duties can only be changed due to changed circumstances or in an interim review.

Canada and most other World Trade Organization (WTO) members use a prospective system, according to documents from the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA). 

Winning a trade case often does not produce the necessary relief for domestic steelmakers as importers exploit loopholes to circumvent duties after they are enacted, according to Blume.

“Even when we win a case, too often the dumped products keep pouring in and causing further injury. After trade relief was granted on oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from China in 2010, Chinese producers shifted minor finishing operations to other countries such as Indonesia to evade the dumping duties. U.S. pipe producers and their workers suffered as a result—but so did Nucor Steel Indiana in Crawfordsville, and our teammates there—because we supply steel to the pipe and tube industry,” he said. 

“Chinese steel producers also routinely manipulate the chemistry of their steel to evade duties, by adding boron and other alloys to hot-rolled steel and plate,” Blume said.

Nucor supports the Senate Customs reauthorization bill, S. 662, which would “require Customs to investigate industry allegations of evasion, establish reasonable timelines for action and issue regular public reports disclosing results,” Blume said.

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