Commerce finds circumvention by Vietnam for certain types of steel

The US Dept. of Commerce announced preliminary affirmative rulings that corrosion-resistant steel and certain cold-rolled steel flat products imported from Vietnam produced from substrate originating in China are circumventing existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on CORE and cold-rolled steel imported from China. As a result Commerce will instruct Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on imports of CORE and cold-rolled steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate.

US law provides that Commerce may find circumvention of AD/CVD orders when merchandise that is the same class or kind as merchandise subject to existing orders is completed or assembled in a third country prior to importation into the US.

CBP will collect AD and CVD cash deposits on imports of CORE produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate at rates of 199.43% and 39.05%, respectively. CBP will also collect AD and CVD cash deposits on imports of cold-rolled steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate at rates of 265.79% and 256.44%, respectively. These cash deposit rates were previously established in the investigations on cold-rolled steel and CORE from China. Duties will apply to all shipments entering the US on or after November 4, 2016, the date the circumvention inquiries were initiated, that remain unliquidated. Importers and exporters of Vietnamese merchandise that is produced from substrate originating in Vietnam or a third-country have the option of seeking an exemption from cash deposits by certifying that the substrate originated outside of China.

Shipments of CORE from Vietnam to the US  increased from $2-million to $80-million after preliminary duties were imposed on Chinese products in 2015. Likewise, shipments of cold-rolled steel from Vietnam to the US increased from $9-million to $215-million after preliminary duties were imposed on Chinese products in 2015.

Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final determinations in these inquiries on February 16, 2018.

After the ruling, USX said: “The Commerce Department’s finding of circumvention represents a critical step to shutting down one of the many paths used to flood the U.S. with dumped and subsidized steel. This decision presents an encouraging sign for the steel industry and should put other countries and companies on notice that their cheating will no longer be tolerated.  We urge Secretary Ross and President Trump to continue to aggressively crack down on unfairly traded steel imports, including immediate and broad action in the Section 232 investigation on steel imports and national security.”

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