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  August 5th, 2015 | Written by

U.S. Steel Producers Take Aim at Cold-Rolled Steel Imports

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  • The petitions allege that foreign producers are selling their products “at unfairly low prices.”
  • AK Steel CEO: "The negative impact to our company has been significant in pricing, production, sales and earnings,"
  • AK Steel won a preliminary determination that imports of corrosion-resistant steel is causing injury.

Another U.S. steel maker has joined a handful of other major domestic producers in filing antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against eight countries that “unfairly” export cold-rolled steel for sale in the U.S.

The petitions were filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) and are aimed at imports of the product from Brazil, China, India,  Japan,  South Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, and the UK. The steel makers claim the imports are causing “material injury” to Ohio-based AK Steel, the newest petitioner, and the domestic steel industry.

The petitions allege that producers in the subject countries have injured AK Steel and others in the domestic industry by selling their products “at unfairly low prices that significantly undercut the prices of U.S. producers.”

The company and the domestic industry, in general, “have been facing a surge of what we believe are unfairly dumped and subsidized imports of cold-rolled steel coming into this country,” said James Wainscott, Chairman, AK Steel president and CEO. “The negative impact to our company and to other U.S. producers has been significant in terms of pricing, production, sales and earnings.”

The countervailing duty petitions charge that significant subsidies have been provided to the foreign producers by the governments of Brazil, China, India, South Korea, and RussiaThe petitions were filed in response to large and increasing volumes of low-priced imports of cold-rolled steel from the subject countries over the past three years that have injured AK Steel and other U.S. producers.

AK Steel and its fellow petitioners produce cold-rolled steel for various customer applications, including appliances, automotive products, containers, and construction.

AK Steel was joined in filing the petitions by Arcelor Mittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics Inc. and the United States Steel Corp.

Imports of cold-rolled steel from the eight countries targeted by the case increased by 120 percent between 2012 and 2014, from 798,000 tons to 1.8 million tons.  Imports increased further in January – May of 2015 as compared to the same period in 2014, from 548,835 to 790,361 tons.

In 2014, these countries exported more than $1.2 billion of cold-rolled steel to the U.S., according to the latest Commerce Department figures.

“As a result, imports of cold-rolled steel have captured an increasing share of the U.S. market at the direct expense of AK Steel and the U.S. industry,” according to the petitions. “The price declines that U.S. producers have suffered are likely to continue if duties are not imposed to level the playing field.”

Last month, AK Steel received word that the USITC had made a unanimous preliminary determination that corrosion-resistant steel (CORE) produced in five foreign countries “is causing injury to the company and the domestic steel industry” and, as a result “the cases against CORE producers in the five named countries – China, India, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan – will proceed.”