The United States ruled that the South Korean steel products were dumped onto the market again. The U.S. government faced away the South Korean government’s appeals once again that South Korean steel products are not threatening the U.S. steel industry.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) made a preliminary decision on March 6 that the U.S. steel industry is threatened by the imports of large diameter welded pipe from South Korea. A large diameter welded pipe is used just like an oil pipeline for a similar purpose and its exports to the U.S. in 2017 amounted to 165 billion won (US$154.06 million). The U.S. haven’t revealed anti-dumping tariff rates yet. However, the domestic industry believes that the U.S. will drop a tariff bomb on South Korean large diameter welded pipes as it has levied a high tariff on steel pipes made with Posco’s hot rolled steel sheets imposed with some 60 percent of anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
The South Korean government rushed Trade Minister Kim Hyun-Jong to the U.S. on February 25 and stressed that South Korean steel products do not pose a threat to the U.S. steel industry but they contribute to the U.S. economy through local investments. However, the South Korean government’s efforts have gone down the drain again this time.
On the other hand, some market watchers have raised the possibility that the U.S. will make an “exception” to steel sanctions for some allies including Canada. During a White House meeting on the 5th (local time), U.S. President Donald Trump said, “The U.S. has been practically deceived by all countries around the world in terms of trade regardless of friend or enemy. We are not backing down.” He reconfirmed that it would levy duties on imported steel and aluminum products across the board. However, Trump suggested that Canada and Mexico, the countries under renegotiation for the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), can be exempted from tariffs, saying, “Tariffs on steel products from the two countries can be a point of negotiation.”