Reinforcing rebar

Commerce investigation finds Taiwan dumping rebar on U.S. market

By: Chris Gillis
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Photo: Hachi888 / Shutterstock.com
   Steel concrete reinforcing bar, a subset of the U.S. steel manufacturing sector, will get a reprieve from similar imports that are allegedly being dumped on the U.S. market at less than fair prices by Taiwanese producers.
   After an investigation, the Commerce Department said July 21 it has determined that imports of the product, more commonly known as rebar, from Taiwan are being dumped on the U.S. market at 3.5 percent to 32.01 percent less than fair value.
   As a result, the department has instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of rebar from Taiwan based on these final rates.
   Specifically, Taiwanese rebar imports from Lo-Toun Steel and Iron Works Co. Ltd. received the highest dumping margin of 32.01 percent, while Power Steel Co. Ltd. and all other producers and exporters in the country will receive a dumping margin of 3.5 percent.
   “The United States can no longer sit back and watch as its essential industries like steel are destroyed by foreign companies unfairly selling their products in the U.S. markets,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. “We will continue to take action on behalf of U.S. industry to defend American businesses, their workers, and our communities adversely impacted by unfair imports.”
   Commerce estimated that imports of Taiwanese rebar for concrete reinforcement in 2016 were valued at an estimated $53 million.
   The Rebar Trade Action Coalition filed a petition Sept. 20 for Commerce and the International Trade Commission to conduct their investigations. The coalition’s members include Byer Steel Group of Cincinatti; Commerce Metals Co. in Irving, Texas; Gerdau Armisteel U.S. of Tampa, Fla.; Nucor Corp. in Charlotte, N.C.; and Steel Dynamics of Pittsboro, Ind.
   The ITC is currently conducting its investigation to determine whether or not the domestic industry is harmed by rebar imports from Taiwan and is scheduled to make its final injury determination by Sept. 5. If the ITC makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue an antidumping order. However, if the ITC makes a negative final injury determination, the investigation will end and no order will be issued.
   Since taking office Jan. 20, the Trump administration has initiated 54 antidumping and antidumping investigations, up 40 percent from the same period in the previous year. In fact, Commerce initiated only 40 of these investigations in total in 2016.

Since taking office on Jan. 20, the Trump administration has initiated 54 antidumping and antidumping investigation, or 40 percent more than the previous year. In fact, Commerce initiated only 40 of these investigations in 2016.

   In fiscal year 2016, Commerce said the United States collected $1.5 billion in duties on $14 billion of imported goods found to be underpriced or subsidized by foreign governments.
   Steel Dynamics has been outspoken in calling for the U.S. government to crack down on overseas steel companies evading antidumping and countervailing duties. The Trump administration issued an executive order March 31 for CBP to develop a strategy to improve the collection of these duties, namely by conducting a risk assessment of importers liable to disappear after entry of import duties and creating a plan to "provide security for antidumping and countervailing duty liability through bonds and other legal measures."
   The U.S. government reported in May 2015 that $2.3 billion in antidumping and countervailing duties went uncollected between 2001 and 2014. Some importers are known to post bonds covering estimated duty liability at the time of entry and then disappear when the final duties are later determined.
   "Unfair trade must be stopped, and this executive order will help CBP combat these deceptive practices," said Mark D. Millett, Steel Dynamics’ president and CEO, in a statement at the time that President Trump announced the executive order.