DOC Issues Preliminary Affirmative Rulings on Wire Rod, Aluminum Foil

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The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock

One day after issuing an affirmative ruling in one case, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it had opened a new investigation.

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On Wednesday, Oct. 25, the department announced an affirmative preliminary determination in an antidumping investigation of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from Italy, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

On Oct. 26, the department announced it was opening a new antidumping probe of imports of forged steel fittings from Italy, China and Taiwan. The announcement also cited a related countervailing duty probe of Chinese forged steel fittings.

“The Department of Commerce intends to act swiftly to halt any unfair trade practices, while also assuring a full and fair assessment of the facts,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a prepared statement. “The U.S. market is the most open in the world, but we must take action to ensure U.S. businesses and workers are treated fairly if our rules are being broken.”

The antidumping and countervailing duties probes stem from petitions filed Oct. 5 by two Pennsylvania entities: the Bonney Forge Corporation (Mount Union, Pennsylvania), and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, of Pittsburgh.

According to the release, estimated dumping margins alleged by the petitioners are 142.72% for China, 18.66% to 80.20% for Italy and 116.17 % for Taiwan.

Forged steel fittings coming into the U.S. from the three countries amounted to a total value of $114.7 million (with China’s share at an estimated $78.4 million).

A Victory for U.S. Aluminum Producers

The Department of Commerce also late Friday announced an affirmative ruling in its antidumping probe of aluminum foil from China.

The department’s preliminary determination stated Chinese exporters of aluminum foil sold their product at prices that resulted in preliminary dumping margins of 96.81% to 162.24% to be applied.

The petitioner in the case was the Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group.

According to the Department of Commerce, last year’s imports of aluminum foil from China were valued at an estimated $389 million.

The Aluminum Association released a statement praising the Department of Commerce’s decision.

“Following the positive preliminary countervailing duty determination this summer, the association and its foil-producing members are very pleased with this finding that again underscores the Commerce Department’s commitment to combatting unfair trade,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, in the release.

“We appreciate Secretary Ross’s leadership in enforcing rules-based global trade. U.S. aluminum foil producers are among the most competitive producers in the world, but they cannot compete against products that are sold at unfairly low prices and subsidized by the Government of China.”

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A final determination is scheduled to be made Feb. 23, 2018.

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