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A 'holistic' gameplan and wrap-around record of wins for steel producers and consumers

Aug 03, 2017 | 08:00 PM | Bette Kovach


One of the nation’s largest and most diverse international trade practices, Wiley Rein LLP has long advocated for steelmakers and steel consumers facing unfair competition from foreign governments. Its status as one of the few firms with a practice that regularly serves as principal counsel for major unfair trade investigations has earned Wiley Rein LLP AMM’s 2017 Steel Excellence Award for Legal Services Provider of the Year, a new category this year.

“We’re one of the few law firms in the country to provide comprehensive legal, policy, and public relations counsel on trade matters for a variety of U.S. manufacturing industries, with an intensive focus on the steel industry,” Alan Price, chair of Wiley Rein’s international trade practice, noted. “While most law firms focus on litigating cases, coupled with some ancillary government-relations capabilities, we adopt a holistic gameplan for maximizing our clients’ long-term performance.

“We tackle major policy problems on a global basis at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization. Our government affairs team has a mix of Administration and Hill trade experience, and we can augment those traditional Washington, D.C. capabilities with public relations and media savvy from our subsidiary, SIGNAL Group, Price added. “Our litigation teams are composed of attorneys, accountants, and economists, all of whom are needed to maximize results in trade remedies cases,” he said.

The firm prides itself on its strong winning record involving large and complex anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, including some of the broadest and most important trade cases filed by the domestic steel industry in the past 15 years.

Among those successes are:

• In September 2016, Nucor Corp. and other steel reinforcing bar companies filed petitions asking the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) to conduct anti-dumping investigations into Japanese, Taiwanese and Turkish imports of rebar and a countervailing duty investigation into Turkish imports of rebar. In November 2016, the trade commission preliminarily determined that there is reasonable indication that imports of rebar from Japan, Taiwan and Turkey have materially injured the U.S. rebar industry. The ITC’s affirmative preliminary injury determination paves the way for the DOC to continue moving forward with its investigations. 
• Wiley Rein also represents Maverick Tube Corp., a subsidiary of Tenaris S.A., in U.S. trade matters. In 2014, the ITC and DOC issued final determinations regarding imports of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from India, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam. On behalf of Maverick, Wiley Rein is litigating numerous appeals of those determinations before the Court of International Trade (CIT).  Wiley Rein is also representing Maverick in ongoing Section 129 proceedings and in anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations into welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey.
• For the Diamond Sawblade Manufacturers Coalition, Wiley Rein’s representation in anti-dumping proceedings achieved multiple victories for the client over the past two years. In August 2015, the ITC voted to extend the anti-dumping order covering diamond sawblades and parts from China for an additional five years. The ITC made its decision in the first Sunset Review of the diamond sawblades order.

Looking ahead, Price sees two issues looming large on the domestic steel industry’s horizon. “As noted in a special report we published last year, Unsustainable: Government Intervention and Overcapacity in the Global Steel Industry, we believe there is an unprecedented level of overcapacity in the global steel market, which continues to grow and has reached alarming new heights,” he said. “This has been caused, in large part, by foreign government ownership and intervention in the steel industry.

“We will continue to advocate on behalf of our clients and recommend that a number of actions be taken, including seeking to reduce steelmaking capacity globally, as well as eliminating subsidies and other forms of government interference in the steel industry,” Price emphasized.

 “The other significant risk is the possibility that the World Trade Organization will decide to treat China as a market economy,” he cautioned. “If that happens, the potential economic and political reactions could have a resounding, negative impact throughout the global steel industry.

“With more than 30 years of steel trade experience, dating back to steel overcapacity issues in the 1980s, we have a thorough understanding of the steel industry,” Price emphasized. “By combining the right set of assets with knowledge of the entire range of steel products, we produce great results for our clients and minimize potential pitfalls.

“Wiley Rein will continue to be a strategic partner for U.S. steel manufacturers, helping our clients thrive in an environment of global overcapacity,” he pledged.


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