As part of its preemptive move to deal with rising global trade protectionism, SeAH Steel is seeking to acquire the assets of oil country steel tube post-treatment plants in the United States.
According to steel industry sources on November 17, SeAH Steel has decided to take over the assets of oil country steel tube post-treatment plants in Houston, which are owned by Laguna Tubular Products headquartered in Mexico, and is in a final round of talks. Laguna’s Houston plant has the post-treatment facilities to produce steel pipes, including heat treatment and water pressure tests. SeAH Steel is also trying to acquire a Houston plant run by Russia-based OMK Tube Inc.
At OMK Tube’s Houston plant, there are facilities for both production and post-treatment of steel pipes. The takeover price of the two Houston plants is estimated at around US$100 million (118.05 billion won).
Industry analysts interpreted SeAH's latest move as an effort to get around the U.S.’ anti-dumping duties imposed on imported steel products. The U.S. government made a preliminary determination on imposing an anti-dumping duty of 3.8 percent on Korean-made steel oil country steel tubes in October. It will make a final determination early next year but the anti-dumping duty can increased as President-elect Donald Trump, who has pledged to tighten import regulations in order to protect American industry, takes office in January.