The Commerce Dept. has set tariffs—in some cases, at levels more than 200%—on imports of steel reinforcing bar from Japan and Turkey, determining that those products have been sold in the U.S. at “unfair prices.”
Commerce said on May 16 that Japanese rebar had been dumped in the U.S. at prices ranging from 206% to 209% less than fair value. The department said rebar from Turkey was sold at 5% to 8% below fair value and also received what it termed unfair government subsidies of about 16%.
The Commerce Dept. said it has directed the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to collect cash deposits from rebar exporters equivalent to those antidumping duty rates.
The next step in the case is a U.S. International Trade Commission final determination of whether U.S. rebar producers have been harmed by imports from the two countries. Commerce said the ITC is scheduled to issue that finding by about June 29.
If the ITC finds no harm to U.S. rebar makers, the investigations will cease and duties won’t be collected, the department added.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement, “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 reported that U.S. imports of rebar from Japan soared in recent years, to 242,336 metric tons in 2015 from 23,335 metric tons in 2013. The value of those products climbed to $108.7 million from $12.3 million in that period. But the dollar volume of Japanese shipments fell last year, to an estimated $96.1 million.
Rebar shipments to the U.S. from Turkey are much larger than those from Japan. They more than doubled to about 1.4 million metric tons, worth $674.4 million in 2015, from about 650,000 metric tons, or $381.3 million, two years earlier. The dollar volume increased further in 2016, to $511.9 million, according to the Commerce Dept.
The Rebar Trade Action Coalition, a group of five U.S. steel makers, filed the case with Commerce last September.
The companies are: Byer Steel Group Inc., Cincinnati; Commercial Metals Co., Irving, Texas; Gerdau Armisteel U.S. Inc., Tampa; Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C.,; and Steel Dynamics Inc., Pittsboro, Ind.