Taiwan yesterday expressed regret over the US government’s preliminary finding that non-oriented electrical steel (NOES) exports from Taiwan and five other countries have “materially injured” the US’ steel sector.
The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) said Taipei would watch Washington’s future antidumping investigations closely and called on local steelmakers to cooperate with the government in preparing for the US’s anti-subsidy probes.
“The bureau expresses its regret at the US government’s preliminary investigation results,” BOFT Deputy Director-General Cynthia Kiang (江文若) said in a statement.
The US government on Sept. 30 announced that it would carry out antidumping investigations into NOES products manufactured by steelmakers in Taiwan, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Sweden, as well as investigate Taiwan, China and South Korea in anti-subsidy probes.
The US Department of Commerce is in charge of both antidumping and antisubsidy inquiries, while the US International Trade Commission is responsible for looking into damages incurred by the country’s steel industry, the bureau said.
On Monday, the commission said in a statement on its Web site that a review of preliminary evidence confirmed that substantial damage had been caused to the US steel industry by NOES products imported from the six countries included in Washington’s probe.
The commission “determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of non-oriented electrical steel from China, Germany, Japan, [South] Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan that are allegedly sold in the United States at less than fair value and that are allegedly subsidized by the governments of China, Korea and Taiwan,” the statement said.
The department will continue its investigations into imports of NOES products and is set to issue its preliminary countervailing duty determinations on Jan. 10, before finishing its preliminary antidumping duty investigation on March 26 next year, the statement said.
The bureau said that the department is to hand down a final ruling within three months, while the commission is likely to hold a public hearing within 60 days after releasing its preliminary investigation results and make its final determination in 45 days following the hearing.
The investigations were initiated in after a complaint was filed by carbon and stainless steel maker AK Steel Holding Corp, and include Taiwan’s China Steel Corp (中鋼) and Leicong Industry Co (麗鋼) among the companies being scrutinized.
According to the US Customs and Border Protection agency, steelmakers from the six countries shipped 68,900 tonnes of NOES products to the US last year that were worth US$86.2 million.
Taiwanese firms exported 15,500 tonnes of that 68,900 tonnes, valued at US$17.25 million, data showed.
Additional reporting by Helen Ku and CNA