Steel Rebar Verdict: Free Pass for Turkish Imports (Essentially)

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The Commerce Department on Tuesday dropped a preliminary decision to impose anti-dumping duties on steel rebar imports from Turkey, a ruling US rebar producers called  a “shock” because they thought they had a strong case.

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“We are shocked that the Commerce Department failed to find dumping against Turkish rebar companies,” the Rebar Trade Action Coalition, a group composed of US producers Nucor Corporation (N.C.), Gerdau Ameristeel (Fla.), Commercial Metals Company (Texas), Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, (Ore.), and Byer Steel Group (Ohio), said in an email message. “We also were surprised that the subsidy findings on Turkish producers were not found to be at higher levels.”

What This Means for Turkish Rebar Producers

The ruling, essentially, means that there will be little penalty on imports from Turkey. In the countervailing duties investigation, Turkish producers Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal Endustrisi A.S. and Icdas Celik Enerji ve Ulasim Sanayi A.S. received final subsidy rates of 0.74 percent and 1.25 percent, respectively. All other producers/exporters in Turkey were assigned a final subsidy rate of 1.25 percent. The duty rate calculated for Habas Sinai ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal will not even be enforced because it is so low and the other producers will pay only a 1.25  percent tax at customs. With the final determinations for anti-dumping duties being negative there is no ability to appeal to the US International Trade Administration or a higher authority, either.

What This Means for US Steel Companies

anti-dumping-blackwhite-L1While none of the domestic producers were willing to speak publicly about the case, many have previously said they cannot compete with the subsidized Turkish products.

Nucor CEO John Ferriola previously told lawmakers in March that imports from Mexico and Turkey had doubled since 2010 and were having a “devastating” impact on the industry. Commerce said in 2013, imports of steel concrete reinforcing bar from Mexico were valued at an estimated $182.1 million and from Turkey at $381.3 million.

What’s interesting is that Commerce upheld the duties against Mexican importers while reversing its own preliminary decision on the Turkish imports.

For Mexican companies duties of 66.7 percent were placed on Grupo Acerero SA de CV and Grupo Simec. For Simec, that is an increase from 10.66 percent in the preliminary ruling.

It set a duty on Deacero SAPI de CV of 20.58 percent and confirmed a duty of 20.58 percent for all other producers and exporters. Deacaro executives said they will not be able to continue doing rebar business in the US at those duty rates. Read more on the battle between Deacero and US producers.

And the Winner Is?

The winner is Turkey, who will likely pick up the business of the Deacero and other Mexican companies if, and only if, its producers can meet the healthy US construction demand for rebar.

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