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US Lays Harsh Duties on Vietnam Steel

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

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The U.S. Department of Commerce ruled Monday (May 21) that some steel products imported from Vietnam in recent years actually originated in China, diverted through the second country in order to circumvent antidumping duties.

In response to the practice, the Commerce Department announced that cold-rolled and corrosion-resistant steel made in Vietnam with steel originally from China will be subject to harsh duties equal to those already imposed on Chinese steel.

Cold rolled steel
© iStock.com / Kapook2981

Cold-rolled steel imports from Vietnam rose from $9 million to $215 million per year after duties were placed on Chinese imports in 2015.

The new announcement cemented a preliminary ruling made in December.

Complaint from U.S. Firms

American steel producers AK Steel, ArcelorMittal USA, California Steel Industries, Nucor, Steel Dynamics and United States Steel filed an inquiry with the Commerce Department in 2016 based on their belief that about 90 percent of corrosion-resistant steel and cold-rolled steel coming from Vietnam was actually of Chinese origin.

The department says imports of corrosion-resistant steel from Vietnam rose by a factor of 40, from $2 million to $80 million per year, after China was hit with harsh duties in 2015 in response to what the United States has called “dumping” of steel products. Cold-rolled steel imports from Vietnam rose from $9 million to $215 million per year at the same time.

In 2016, Vietnam was one of only two countries to increase its volume of steel shipments into the U.S., with a jump of 293 percent that year, according to the International Trade Administration. The only other country with an increase of shipments that year was Mexico, up about 10 percent. The value of Vietnam’s exports to the U.S. increased 190 percent that year, the only country to increase the value of its steel headed to the U.S. that year during a time of decreasing steel prices globally.

Corrosion-resistant steel from Vietnam made with Chinese-origin substrates will face antidumping and countervailing duties of 199.3 percent and 39.05 percent, respectively. Cold-rolled steel from Vietnam made from substrate of Chinese origin will face AD and CVD of 199.76 percent and 256.44 percent.

These specific measures come in addition to the United States’ recently announced general tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

   

Tagged categories: Government; Stainless steel; Steel

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