The United States Department of Commerce has imposed an anti-dumping duty of 53.8 percent, 33 percentage points higher than in the previous year, on Donga Steel’s heavy walled rectangular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes. In addition, the department raised its tariffs on other South Korean steelmakers from 12.81 percent to 43.91 percent. Such pipes and tubes are used in offshore structures and South Korea exported such products worth US$43.77 million to the United States in 2016.
The department applied the Adverse Facts Available (AFA) provision to Donga Steel. The provision is for the department to fix a tariff rate arbitrarily when the department concludes that its investigation target is not cooperative enough. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of South Korea, Donga Steel did not answer to the department's investigation on its conclusion that responses are of no use.
These days, the department is concentrating high tariffs on pipe products exported from South Korea. For example, it raised its tariff on SeAH Steel's oil country tubular goods to 17.04 percent this month. On the other hand, the department's tariffs on steel sheets have been lowered to some extent. For instance, the tariff on Hyundai Steel's cold-rolled steel sheets has been lowered from 36.59 percent to 0 percent as in the case of POSCO, Dongbu Steel and Dongkuk Steel.
This shows that the U.S. government is targeting particularly those products that are more likely to flow into the U.S. market. According to Hana Financial Investment, the price of hot-rolled steel sheets in the U.S. steel market, which indicates price movements in that market, recently reached US$515 per short ton, down more than 40 percent from a year earlier.