US probing alleged steel pipe dumping by Taiwan

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 - Page 13

Chung Hung Steel Corp (中鴻鋼鐵), a subsidiary of China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), yesterday said it was looking into an anti-dumping probe by the US government, which may affect between 1.8 percent and 2.5 percent of its steel pipe output a month.

The company, one of five Taiwanese firms accused of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) dumping by the US Department of Commerce, said it has hired lawyers in the US to handle the case.

“We have also sent a sales vice president to the US to better understand the situation,” Chung Hung spokesman Wang Chao-cheng (王朝成) told the Taipei Times by telephone.

The US government said on Tuesday it has launched a probe into whether exporters in Taiwan and eight other countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East are dumping steel pipes usually used in the oil and gas industry.

“Roughly between 3,000 and 4,000 tonnes of such pipe exports to the US will be affected by the investigation,” Wang said.

The Greater Kaohsiung-based company produces about 160,000 tonnes of steel pipes a month.

US steel producers say the Taiwanese and other firms are selling their pipes at unfairly low prices.

The four other companies are Far Eastern Machinery Co Ltd (遠東), Kao Hsing Chang Iron & Steel Corp (高興昌), Shin Yang Steel Co (鑫陽) and Tension Steel Industries Co Ltd (天聲).

US steelmakers have asked the department to impose anti-dumping tariffs of between 68.44 and 70.98 percent on Taiwan’s OCTG exporters.

Wang did not elaborate on the impact of such tariffs against the company’s products if the anti-dumping case continues.

On Tuesday, representatives of two Taiwanese companies attended a hearing hosted by the US International Trade Commission (ITC), which is conducting a parallel investigation. They said Taiwan’s exporters are unlikely to harm US suppliers because the volume of OCTG exports from Taiwan to the US has been limited.

The US commerce department says Taiwan’s OCTG exports to the US totaled US$89.81 million last year, up from US$80.75 million in 2011 and US$43.16 million in 2010.

The commission is expected to issue a preliminary ruling on Aug. 16 on whether exporters from the nine countries have harmed their US counterparts. If its ruling points to harm to US steel producers, the department will issue an initial decision on Dec. 9 to set anti-dumping tariffs.