The U.S. Department of Commerce has decided to impose a retaliatory tariff of 30.85% on Hyundai Steel’s circular welded non-alloy steel pipes. Previously, similar decisions were made on South Korean line pipes and oil country tubular goods (OCTG) as well.
The department recalculates its tariffs on different products each year. The tariff on Hyundai Steel’s circular welded non-alloy steel pipes skyrocketed by 29.23 percentage points compared to the previous year. The department is going to apply a tariff of 19.28% to SeAH Steel and Nexteel and 7.71% to Husteel, too.
During its tariff calculation in January this year, the department adopted retaliatory tariffs of up to 19.42% on South Korean line pipes. In April, it imposed a tariff of 75.81% on Nexteel, the largest OCTG exporter to the United States.
The department made an issue of POSCO’s hot roll products yet again with regard to the tariff on Hyundai Steel. Earlier, the department levied a punitive tariff of 57.04% on POSCO’s hot rolls, claiming that the company did not fully cooperate in its investigation regarding the raw material for steel pipes. This time, it mentioned again that products using the hot rolls are problematic as well.
The department made an issue of the price of electricity in South Korea, too. According to it, the South Korean steel companies consumed a lot of electricity to make the pipes yet did not fully pay for it and, as such, could lower their pipe prices. In addition, the department is claiming that Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), the largest power supplier in the country, is supplying electricity at a low price as a government agency.
The department also said that cheap steel materials from China are flowing into South Korea in quantity to lower the prices of steel pipes exported from South Korea. Based on these claims, the department is regarding the South Korean steel market as one subject to the Particular Market Situation provision.
South Korean steel companies are pointing out that the claims are illogical. “The tariff on POSCO’s hot rolls was high not because of dumping or subsidies but for punitive purposes, which means the figure should not be cited in tariff recalculation,” one of them said.