Kathleen W. Cannon
A five-company coalition of U.S. producers of carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod (“wire rod”) comprised of ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Charter Steel, Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel (aka EVRAZ Pueblo), Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc., and Keystone Consolidated Industries, Inc. (“the Coalition”), today was joined by Nucor Corporation in filing an antidumping duty petition charging that unfairly traded imports of wire rod from China are causing material injury to the domestic wire rod industry. The dumping margins alleged by the domestic industry range from 100 to 110 percent. The domestic industry also filed a countervailing duty petition alleging that the Chinese Government provided significant subsidies to Chinese wire rod producers. The petitions were filed concurrently with the United States Department of Commerce (“Commerce Department”) and the United States International Trade Commission (“USITC”).
The petitions were filed in response to large and increasing volumes of low-priced imports of wire rod over the past three years that have injured U.S. wire rod producers. In 2012 and 2013, imports of wire rod from China surged into the U.S. market, rising from 144 tons in 2011 to over 614,000 tons in 2013. China is now the largest source of wire rod imports in the United States. The petitions allege that producers in China have injured the domestic industry by selling their products at unfairly low prices that significantly undercut U.S. producer prices. As a result of this unfair competition, the domestic industry has suffered declines in production, sales, and employment, and has seen its profitability diminish. The petition states that Chinese producers covered by the petitions have massive capacity to produce wire rod and pose a continuing threat to the health of the U.S. industry. If the cases are successful, import duties will be imposed, offsetting the unfair trade practices that have allowed the imports from China to injure the domestic industry.
“Imports of unfairly low-priced and subsidized wire rod from China have devastated pricing in the U.S. market and caused injury to the domestic industry,” commented Paul Rosenthal, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, the lead trade counsel to the Coalition petitioners.
“The domestic industry looks forward to the opportunity to present its case to the Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission to obtain relief from unfairly traded imports of wire rod.”
Antidumping duties are intended to offset the amount by which a product is sold at less than fair value, or “dumped,” in the United States. The margin of dumping is calculated by the Commerce Department. Estimated duties in the amount of the dumping are collected from importers at the time of importation. Countervailing duties are intended to offset unfair subsidies that are provided by foreign governments and benefit the production of a particular good. The USITC, an independent agency, will determine whether such imports are a cause of, or threaten, material injury to the domestic industry.
As a result of the filing of the petitions, the Commerce Department will determine whether to initiate the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations within 20 days, and the USITC will reach a preliminary determination of material injury or threat of material injury within 45 days. The entire investigative process will take approximately one year, with final determinations of dumping, subsidization, and injury likely occurring in early 2015.
Carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod is a hot-rolled intermediate steel product of approximately round solid cross section, in irregularly wound coils, in diameters less than 19 millimeters. Wire rod is primarily used for subsequent drawing and finishing by wire drawers, and is ultimately used to manufacture a variety of products, including electric welded chain, cold-drawn bars, springs, nails, reinforcing wire mesh, chain link fence and many different types of wires.
ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Charter Steel, Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel, Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc., Keystone Consolidated Industries, Inc., are represented in these actions by Paul Rosenthal, Kathleen Cannon and Alan Luberda of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. Nucor Corporation is represented by Alan Price and Daniel Pickard of Wiley Rein LLP.