Sat, Nov 09, 2013 - Page 13 News List

US begins antidumping probe

SIX OF NINE:Though nine deals were made by the government to help steelmakers sell to the US, only six of them are under investigation by the foreign trade bureau

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

The US Department of Commerce has initiated antidumping and anti-subsidy investigations against steelmakers in Taiwan and five other countries to determine whether foreign governments’ financial support of these companies hurt the US’ steel industry, the Bureau of Foreign Trade said.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the bureau said the US government on Thursday decided to accept carbon and stainless steel maker AK Steel Holding Corp’s complaints, which were filed on Sept. 30. AK Steel claims that steelmakers in Taiwan, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Sweden used predatory pricing strategies to sell their non-oriented electrical steel products in the US.

After resuming operations following a temporary shutdown, the US Department of Commerce has decided to carry out antidumping investigations into non-oriented electrical steel products made by firms from the six countries.

However, the US government will only target steelmakers from Taiwan, China and South Korea when conducting anti-subsidy investigations, according to the bureau’s statement.

“The Taiwanese government has established a task force to help local steelmakers cooperate with the US Department of Commerce during the investigations,” the statement read.

“Taiwanese steelmakers are encouraged to participate in the investigations and may call for help when necessary,” it added.

Though AK Steel claimed the Taiwanese government carried out nine subsidy programs to help local steelmakers export low-priced, non-oriented electrical steel products in the US, the department will only look into six of them, the bureau said.

The department will be in charge of both antidumping and anti-subsidy investigations, while the US International Trade Commission (ITC) will be responsible for investigations into losses that the US steel industry has already accrued, according to the bureau.

The ITC is set to make a ruling on Dec. 2, while the commerce department plans to conclude its anti-subsidizy investigation on Jan. 10 and finish its anti-dumping investigation on March 26 next year.

According to US Customs, steelmakers from the six countries shipped a total of 68,900 tonnes of non-oriented electrical steel products to the US last year. The shipments were worth US$86.2 million, the bureau said.

Taiwanese steelmakers shipped up to 15,500 tonnes of non-oriented electrical steel products to the US last year, which had an export value of US$17.2 million, according to US Customs.

Given the government is named and involved in the investigation, the bureau said it has arranged several rounds of meetings with industry groups and local steelmakers.

To express the government’s concern, the bureau sent representatives to meet with US government officials and discussed details of the investigations on Oct. 28, according to the statement.

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