Domestic Steel Producers File Trade Cases on Oil Country Tubular Goods
Industry Members Forced to Act As OCTG Imports Surge Over 390 Percent During Last Two Years
Faced with an enormous surge of imports, major U.S. producers of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) filed trade law actions on Friday, March 29, in Washington on OCTG from 14 countries: Austria, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela. OCTG imports are not covered by the recent relief announced by the President under Section 201.
United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) was joined by IPSCO Incorporated, Lone Star Steel Company, Maverick Tube Corporation and two divisions of NS Group, Inc. -- Newport Steel Corporation and Koppel Steel Corporation -- in filing these cases. The petitioning companies accounted for the great majority of U.S. OCTG production during 2001.
These cases were provoked by an extraordinary surge of OCTG imports over the last few years. Imports from the countries in question rose from 123,036 net tons in 1999 to 603,053 net tons last year. This increase of more than 390 percent consisted almost entirely of unfairly traded imports that significantly undersold the domestic product.
The antidumping margins alleged in these cases -- which measure the severity of the unfair trade in question -- are extremely high, exceeding 40 percent for most countries, and ranging as high as 140 percent. This unfair trade drove down U.S. prices for OCTG and also deprived the domestic industry of substantial market share. While imports have caused significant harm to the domestic industry over the last two years, conditions for the domestic industry have worsened dramatically in recent months.
"We simply had to respond to this tremendous surge of unfairly traded imports," said Thomas J. Usher, Chairman, CEO and President of U.S. Steel. "The OCTG market is highly cyclical, and these imports have caused us severe harm by suppressing and depressing prices during a period of relatively strong demand."
U.S. law has long provided domestic industries relief from the type of unfair trade currently plaguing producers of OCTG. The relief sought in these petitions would take the form of duties applied at the U.S. border to offset the level of unfair trade, thus restoring equilibrium to the market.
"The duties we seek on OCTG will complement the relief on flat-rolled products recently implemented by the President pursuant to Section 201," Usher explained. "These cases will provide an incentive to reduce excess steel capacity worldwide by preventing inefficient producers in closed markets from taking advantage of the U.S. market and dumping their excess steel here. They will also deter unfair trade in a critical sector of the steel industry, allowing domestic producers and their workers to compete on a level playing field in their own market."
SOURCE: United States Steel Corporation
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