The United States Department of Commerce has imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty of 31.64 percent on Nexteel’s carbon steel pipes for ordinary piping. In addition, the department levied provisional anti-dumping duties of 5.11 percent and 23.74 percent on the same products exported by Husteel and some other South Korean steelmakers, respectively.
In its latest annual review, the department used the particular market situation provision again. In general, the department calculates the difference between a products’ domestic and export prices in calculating an anti-dumping duty rate. However, it uses its own discretion on the premise that data submitted by a company is not sufficient for the calculation once it concludes that the company is in a particular market situation. The provision has been repeatedly used against South Korean steelmakers. For example, their oil pipes and oil country tubular goods had to face tariffs of up to 38.87 percent and 17.04 percent last year, respectively.
Such high tariffs are hindering their business in the United States along with an export quota. The United States invoked Section 232 of the Trade Expansion. Act of 1962 in 2018 to impose an additional tariff of 25 percent on steel imports. Then, the South Korean government accepted the quota, which is 70 percent of 3.83 million tons as the average exports for the period of 2015 to 2017, in exchange for tariff exemption. “Although we are not subject to Section 232, the United States is still imposing tariffs on lucrative individual products,” said one of the steelmakers.
Their steel pipe exports to the United States reached a 10-year low of US$762 million last year, down 17.4 percent from a year ago, due to the quota, worsening local market situations, and so on. For reference, the volume amounted to US$1,725 million in 2017. The U.S. government is likely to maintain the same stance with regard to imported steel pipes.