Earlier this month, U.S. OCTG tubular product manufacturers filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) asking the commission to investigate potential dumping of tubular goods by a host of countries, including India, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam, India and Turkey.
Dumping is the practice of selling goods abroad at a price that’s either lower than what you sell it for domestically or lower than the cost of production. Dumping is often used as a strategy to drive competitors out of business, and has been considered detrimental to the companies in the countries in which the goods are being dumped into. Some see it as predatory trade practice, and many countries have laws against it.
The complaint (filed by Boomerang Tube, Energex Tube, Maverick Tube Corporation, Northwest Pipe Company, Tejas Tubular Products, TMK IPSCO, United States Steel Corporation, Vallourec Star LP and Welded Tube USA Inc) applies to OCTG tubular products both welded and seamless, with any end finish (plain end, threaded and coupled), regardless of whether they conform to API specifications. The complaint also includes OCTG coupling stock.
Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), applauded the companies who filed the complaint and urged the ITC to investigate the matter thoroughly, noting that imports from the countries named in the petition have increased by 111 percent in the last few years.
“U.S. laws against unfair trade exist to counter market-distorting practices…and to restore conditions of fair trade, but this cannot occur unless all parties play by the rules. It is vital for U.S. companies to have the chance to compete for business on a level playing field,” he said.
This isn’t the first time that an anti-dumping petition has been filed by the U.S. OCTG industry. In 2009, the ITC was petitioned to investigate the import of tubular goods from China. As a result of that petition, the commission levied anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese imports from 30 to 99%. Consequently, Chinese OCTG imports decreased dramatically in 2010.
According to the Tariff Act of 1930, the ITC may order anti-dumping tariffs on foreign imports if a foreign government or business is providing “a countervailable subsidy with respect to the manufacture, production, or export of a class or kind of merchandise imported, or sold for importation, into the United States.” For tariffs to be levied, the Commission must also find that a United States industry is materially injured, threatened with potential injury, or is materially retarded.
The commission is expected to release its preliminary findings on the case in November 2013 and January 2014.