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  • Companies shocked with US ITC ruling that domestic steel producers are not being harmed

    Despite figures showing a doubling of wire rod imports from China, Germany and Turkey, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled on Friday, Dec. 23, that domestic steel producers aren’t being harmed.

    The ruling came in an anti-dumping case brought by five companies, including Mittal Steel USA-Georgetown.

    “We are frankly shocked and very disappointed that the commission reached a negative determination given the financial stress that the wire rod imports from the named countries have caused the domestic industry,” said lead trade counsel Paul Rosenthal.

    “I have never been more surprised by a vote in almost 25 years of appearing before the commission. The record simply does not support this conclusion. We will have to review the reasoning in the commission’s determination, but we will strongly recommend that the industry appeal this determination.”

    The ITC determined that no reasonable indication exists that the domestic carbon and alloy steel wire rod industry is being materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of dumped imports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), Germany and Turkey.

    The steel mill in Georgetown can produce about a million tons of wire rod a year.

    In 2002, wire rod imports from mainland China, Germany and Turkey was about 958,000 tons. In 2004, the figure almost doubled to 1.8 million tons.

    From September 2004 to August 2005, the imports from those three countries made up about half of all wire rod imports into the United States.

    Rosenthal filed anti-dumping petitions against the three countries on Nov. 10. The U.S. Commerce Department began its investigations at the end of that month.

    The Commerce Department agreed to consider Rosenthal’s request for duties or tariffs against the Chinese companies of 330 percent. For the German companies, he sought tariffs ranging from 42 to 82 percent, and the Turkish companies would have tariffs from 31 to 78 percent imposed.

    With the ITC ruling, the investigation by the Commerce Department will be halted for now.

    Carbon steel wire rod is an intermediate product that is ultimately used for the manufacture of wire and wire products such as coat hangers, fasteners, wire mesh, tire cord, and chain link fencing.

    The petitioners are Connecticut Steel Corporation, Wallingford, CT; Gerdau Ameristeel, Tampa, FL; Keystone Consolidated Industries, Inc., Dallas, TX; Mittal Steel U.S.A-Georgetown, Georgetown, SC; Rocky Mountain Steel Mills, Pueblo, CO.

    Paul C. Rosenthal is a member of the Washington, D.C. law firm, Collier Shannon Scott, PLLC, where he practices international trade law and serves as the firm’s managing partner.

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