On February 4, 2019, the American Institute of Steel Construction, LLC filed antidumping (“AD”) and countervailing (“CVD”) petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”).
Under U.S. law, a domestic industry can petition the government to initiate an AD investigation into the pricing of an imported product to determine whether it is sold in the United States at less than fair value (i.e., “dumped”). A domestic industry can also petition the initiation of a CVD investigation of alleged subsidization of foreign producers by their government. Additional duties can be imposed if DOC determines that imported goods are dumped and/or subsidized, and if the ITC also determines that the domestic industry is materially injured or threatened with such injury by reason of subject imports.
If the ITC and DOC make preliminary affirmative determinations, U.S. importers will be required to post cash deposits in the amount of the AD and/or CVD duty rates for all entries on or after the date DOC’s preliminary determination is published in the Federal Register. The preliminary AD/CVD rates can change in the final DOC determination, especially if foreign producers and their governments participate fully in the investigations.
Here the petition alleges that fabricated structural steel from Canada, China, and Mexico is being sold at less than fair value in the U.S. market and benefitting from countervailable subsidies. The alleged average dumping margins are 31.46 percent for Canada, 218.85 percent for China, and 41.39 percent for Mexico.
The products covered by this petition include carbon and alloy (including stainless) steel products such as angles, columns, beams, girders, plates, flange shapes, channels, hollow structural section shapes, base plates, plate-work components, and other steel products that have been fabricated for assembly or installation into a structure. Typical fabrication processes include cutting, drilling, welding, joining, bolting, bending, punching, pressure fitting, molding, adhesion, and other finishing processes. Fabricated structured steel is used in constructing structures such as buildings (commercial, office, institutional, and multi-family residential), industrial and utility projects, parking decks, arenas and convention centers, medical facilities, and ports, transportation, and infrastructure facilities.
Subject goods are classifiable under HTSUS 7308.90.9590, 7308.90.3000, and 7308.90.6000 and may also enter under HTSUS 7216.91.0010, 7216.91.0090, 7216.99.0010, 7216.99.0090, 7228.70.6000, 7301.10.0000, 7301.20.1000, 7301.20.5000, 7308.40.0000, 7308.90.9530, and 9406.90.0030.
The petition excludes fabricated steel concrete reinforcing bar under certain condition, fabricated structural steel used for bridges and bridge sections, pre-engineered metal building systems, and steel roof and floor decking systems designed and manufactured to Steel Deck Institute standards.
The Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission will next determine whether to launch AD and CV duty and injury investigations, respectively, on these products. There are strict statutory deadlines associated with these proceedings, so affected companies that wish to protect their interests should contact trade counsel as soon as possible.
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