New Articles

Steel Makers Unite to Appeal ITC Import Decision

Steel Makers Unite to Appeal ITC Import Decision

Washington, DC – US producers of grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) have said they will file an appeal of the negative decision on “material injury” by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The AK Steel Corp., ATI Flat Rolled Producers, and the United Steelworkers Union, which represents workers engaged in the production of GOES at ATI Flat Rolled, will join forces to fight the ITC’s decision.

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, which represents workers engaged in the production of GOES at AK Steel Corporation, also expressed its support for the appeal.

GOES is a flat-rolled alloy, specialty steel product that’s used primarily in the production of laminated cores for large and medium-sized electrical power transformers and distribution transformers.

The petitions cover GOES in either sheet or strip form, in coils or in straight lengths imported from the Czech Republic, China, South Korea, and Russia.

“We are very disappointed by the negative determination by the ITC,” said David A. Hartquist of Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP, the Washington, DC-based counsel to petitioners.

“We believe the case warranted an affirmative determination and that the majority decision contains fundamental errors of fact and law,” he said.

The Department of Commerce, he said, “found antidumping margins of up to 159 percent, which caused lost sales and significant financial injury to the US producers, which in our judgment met the legal standard for an affirmative determination.”

The petitioners also filed an appeal on September 16, 2014 to a similar ITC decision covering imports from Germany, Japan and Poland.



Houston Handles Record Steel Shipments

Houston, TX – The Port of Houston handled more steel shipments in July than in any month since 2008 as 844,000 tons of the product were handled at the port, according to Executive Director Roger Guenther.

Addressing the most recent meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority (PHA), Guenther also noted that the port had achieved a record with operating revenues in July 2014 of more than $24 million.

Steel and bulk cargo grew by “a solid 5 percent” in July, he said, adding that more than 22 million tons of cargo moved across PHA docks during the first seven months of the year.

Container volume was relatively flat compared to last year, but recorded a four percent increase in the number of loaded boxes year to date.

This was offset, Guenther said, “by a reduced number of empty containers being imported through PHA terminals due to an increase in loaded imports.”

Combining the strength in revenues and controlled spending, PHA has generated more than $65 million in operating cash flow for the year, a growth of 5 percent, he reported.

Following the first two quarters of 2014, the PHA said that it’s prepared a “re-forecast budget” for the remainder of the year, reflecting a $5.8 million increase in annual operating revenue, a decrease of $2.1 million in annual operating expense.

“This revenue generated will be reinvested in the infrastructure assets needed to increase capacity and provide for increased economic activity and job growth for the region,” said Guenther.


USITC Rules on ‘Oil Country Tubular Goods’ Imports

Washington, DC –The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has determined that “a US industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury” by the import of certain oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from six countries.

The ruling on OCTG from India, Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam gives the US Department of Commerce the go-ahead to impose tariffs as high as 118 percent on the affected OCTG imports.

The determination does not impact imports of the product from the Philippines and Thailand.

OCTG imports from Saudi Arabia were dropped from the earlier complaint, which was brought in 2013 by US steel companies after imports of the pipes used in the oil and gas industry surged and foreign manufacturers sought to cash in on booming US shale gas drilling.

Seventeen US companies including United States Steel; Maverick Tube Corporation; Boomerang Tube; Energex Tube; Northwest Pipe Co.; Welded Tube, USA; and Tejas Tubular Products filed the original complaint.

The US used 7 million tons of OCTG, valued at $10.1 billion in 2013, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the US market, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington, DC.

Leading sources of OCTG last year were Korea, Canada, Argentina, Japan, Mexico, and Germany, the trade group said.

Foreign manufacturers responded to the determination saying countered that they do not supply enough pipe to threaten the US industry, and instead blamed the lower prices on US producers increasing supply.