Seifsa warns US antidumping duties could hurt local steel industry

12th January 2018 By: Megan van Wyngaardt - Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) is worried about the potential impact on the local steel industry of the US Department of Commerce’s (DoC’s) affirmative final determinations in an antidumping duty investigation into imports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from South Africa and other countries.

The DoC and the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in October launched a parallel investigation to determine if US producers have been adversely impacted as a result of carbon and alloy steel wire rod imports from South Africa, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK.

The US’s antidumping duty law provides businesses and workers in that country a transparent, quasi-judicial and internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the market distorting effects caused by injurious dumping of imports into the country, establishing an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.

Dumping occurs when a foreign company sells an imported product in another country at less than fair value. 

“In the South African investigations, the DoC assigned a dumping rate of 142.26% for the collapsed entity comprising ArcelorMittal South Africa, Scaw South Africa and Consolidated Wire Industries, based on adverse facts available owing to [the entity’s] failure to respond to the DoC’s request for information.

“Davsteel Division of Cape Gate, the other mandatory respondent, was found to have no shipments of subject merchandise during the period of investigation. All other producers and exporters in South Africa have been assigned a dumping rate of 135.46%,” said Seifsa chief economist Michael Ade.

“We are extremely concerned that the latest developments have the potential of further dampening production in the local steel industry, reducing steel exports to the US and stifling the steel industry of much needed foreign reserves.

“This is especially given that, in 2016, imports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod by the US from South Africa were valued at an estimated $7.1-million,” he added.

The ITC is scheduled to make its final determination on or about February 22.

If the ITC makes [an] affirmative final determination that imports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from South Africa . . .  materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the US industry, the DoC will issue antidumping duty orders.

Upon publication of the final affirmative antidumping duty determinations, the DoC will instruct US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits equal to the applicable final weighted-average dumping rates.

If the ITC makes negative determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated.