The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday voted to continue antidumping and countervailing duty investigations against nine countries in cases brought by the domestic oil country tubular goods (OCTG) producers against India, Korea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.
The American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) called the investigations “overkill.”
“While AIIS, acknowledges that some overly aggressive suppliers had created an inventory overhang in the U.S. market, the domestic OCTG industry is profitable, investing and growing its capacity in response to increased oil and gas drilling in the U.S. With this vote, the International Trade Commission commissioners ignored these simple facts and granted trade protection to domestic steel producers for at least a year, pending the outcome of the final decision on injury at the ITC next year,” the trade group said.
The petition for the investigation was brought against the OCTG producing countries by Boomerang Tube, Chesterfield, Mo.; EnergeX, a division of JMC Steel Group, Chicago; Maverick Tube Corp., Houston; Northwest Pipe Co., Vancouver, Wash.; Tejas Tubular Products, Houston; TMK IPSCO, Houston; U.S. Steel Corp., Pittsburgh; Vallourec Star, Houston; and Welded Tube USA, Lackawanna, N.Y.
ITC said there are 16 U.S. producers of OCTG with plants in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
OCTG imports from the countries under investigation amounted to $2 billion in 2012, and the ratio of the value of total imports to total U.S. consumption in 2012 was 45.1 percent, according to ITC.
AIIS Chairman John Foster said “imports have always played an important role in supplying drilling companies with OCTG and have played an important role in increasing production of energy and reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. We are concerned that in using the trade laws to disrupt a number of legitimate, responsible and long term supply relationships, the ITC has allowed domestic industry OCTG producers to misuse the trade laws again.”
Foster warned the ITC’s decision “again shows that the U.S.’s trade laws are out of step with WTO (World Trade Organization) obligations and are economically detrimental to American industry and the important jobs it creates.”