February 4, 2019 – On February 4, 2019, the American Institute of Steel Construction, LLC filed antidumping (“AD”) and countervailing (“CVD”) petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”).
Under U.S. law, a domestic industry can petition the government to initiate an AD investigation into the pricing of an imported product to determine whether it is sold in the United States at less than fair value (i.e., “dumped”). A domestic industry can also petition the initiation of a CVD investigation of alleged subsidization of foreign producers by their government. Additional duties can be imposed if DOC determines that imported goods are dumped and/or subsidized, and if the ITC also determines that the domestic industry is materially injured or threatened with such injury by reason of subject imports.
If the ITC and DOC make preliminary affirmative determinations, U.S. importers will be required to post cash deposits in the amount of the AD and/or CVD duty rates for all entries on or after the date DOC’s preliminary determination is published in the Federal Register. The preliminary AD/CVD rates can change in the final DOC determination, especially if foreign producers and their governments participate fully in the investigations.
The products covered by these investigations include:
Carbon and alloy (including stainless) steel products such as angles, columns, beams, girders, plates, flange shapes (including manufactured structural shapes utilizing welded plates as a substitute for rolled wide flange sections), channels, hollow structural section (HSS) shapes, base plates, plate-work components, and other steel products that have been fabricated for assembly or installation into a structure (fabricated structural steel). Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, cutting, drilling, welding, joining, bolting, bending, punching, pressure fitting, molding, adhesion, and other processes. Fabricated structural steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is two percent or less by weight. Fabricated structural steel is covered by the scope of the investigation regardless of whether it is painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other metallic or non-metallic substances. Fabricated structural steel may be either assembled; disassembled, but containing characteristics or items, such as holes, fasteners, nuts, bolts, rivets, screws, tongue and grooves, hinges, or joints, so that the product(s) may be joined, attached, or assembled to one or more additional product(s); or partially assembled, such as into modules, modularized construction units, or sub-assemblies of fabricated structural steel.
Products under investigation include carbon and alloy steel products that have been fabricated for erection or assembly into structures, including but not limited to, buildings (commercial, office, institutional, and multi-family residential); industrial and utility projects; parking decks; arenas and convention centers; medical facilities; and ports, transportation and infrastructure facilities.
Subject merchandise includes fabricated structural steel that has been assembled or further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, drilling, welding, joining, bolting, punching, bending, beveling, riveting, galvanizing, coating, and/or slitting or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the Investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the fabricated structural steel.
Fabricated structural steel may be attached, joined, or assembled with non-steel components at the time of importation. The inclusion, attachment, joining, or assembly of non-steel components with fabricated structural steel does not remove the fabricated structural steel from the scope.
All products that meet the written physical description are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation is certain fabricated steel concrete reinforcing bar ("rebar"). Fabricated rebar is excluded from the scope only if (i) it is a unitary piece of fabricated rebar, not joined, welded, or otherwise connected with any other steel product or part; or (ii) it is joined, welded, or otherwise connected only to other rebar.
Also excluded from this scope is fabricated structural steel used for bridges and bridge sections. For the purpose of this scope, fabricated structural steel used for bridges and bridge sections is defined as fabricated structural steel that is used in bridges and bridge sections and that conforms to American Association of State and Highway and Transportation Officials (“AASHTO”) bridge construction requirements or any state or local derivatives of the AASHTO bridge construction requirements.
Also excluded from this scope are pre-engineered metal building systems. For the purposes of this scope, pre-engineered metal building systems are defined as complete metal buildings that integrate steel framing, roofing and walls to form one, pre-engineered building system and are designed and manufactured to Metal Building Manufacturers Association guide specifications. Pre-engineered metal building systems are typically limited in height to no more than 60 feet or two stories.
Also excluded from this scope are steel roof and floor decking systems designed and manufactured to Steel Deck Institute standards.
Also excluded from the scope are open web steel bar joists and joist girders that are designed and manufactured to Steel Joist Institute specifications.
The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings: 7308.90.9590, 7308.90.3000, and 7308.90.6000. The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 7216.91.0010, 7216.91.0090, 7216.99.0010, 7216.99.0090, 7228.70.6000, 7301.10.0000, 7301.20.1000, 7301.20.5000, 7308.40.0000, 7308.90.9530, and 9406.90.0030.
Foreign Producers and Exporters of Subject Merchandise
Attachment 1 contains a list of companies that the Petitioner identifies as foreign producers and/or exporters of the subject merchandise.
U.S. Importers of Subject Merchandise
Attachment 2 contains a list of U.S. companies that the Petitioner identifies as importers of the subject merchandise.
Alleged Margins of Dumping/Subsdization
Petitioner alleges dumping margins for the three countries as follows:
DOC generally assigns duties at these alleged dumping rates to foreign exporters that fail to cooperate with the investigation.
No specific subsidy margins are included in the petition.
Potential Trade Impact
According to official U.S. import statistics, 949,578 short tons of subject product from the three countries, valued at $1.9 billion, entered the United States in 2017. In terms of value, the value of each country’s imports were as follows:
China: $841.7 million
Canada: $658.3 million
Mexico: $406.6 million
It appears an even larger volume of these products may have entered in full year 2018, though complete statistics for the year are not yet available.
Estimated Schedule of Investigations
February 4, 2019 – Petition filed February 25, 2019 – ITC staff conference March 21, 2019 – ITC preliminary injury determination July 5, 2019 – DOC preliminary CVD determination, if fully postponed September 2, 2019 – DOC preliminary AD determination, if fully postponed January 22, 2020 – DOC final AD and CVD determinations, if both preliminary and final determinations are fully postponed March 23, 2020 – ITC final injury determination, if DOC’s determinations are fully postponed March 30, 2020 – AD/CVD orders published, if determinations are affirmative
If you have any questions about the petitions, please contact the experienced attorneys in HHR’s international trade group.