Dumping China Thailand Taiwan India Carbon Steel

Vulcan Steel Products Inc. (Petitioner) on February 19, 2019, filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions against Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod (“Steel Threaded Rod”) from China, India, Taiwan and Thailand.

Under U.S. trade laws, a domestic industry can petition the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) and U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) to investigate whether the named subject imports are being sold to the United States at less than fair value (“dumping”) or benefit from unfair government subsidies.  For AD/CVD duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping or subsidization is occurring, but also that the subject imports are causing “material injury” or “threat of material injury” to the domestic industry.

— Scope

The proposed scope definition in the petition identifies the merchandise to be covered by these AD investigations as:

The merchandise covered by the scope of these investigations is carbon and alloy steel threaded rod. Steel threaded rod is certain threaded rod, bar, or studs, of carbon or alloy steel, having a solid, circular cross section of any diameter, in any straight length. Steel threaded rod is normally drawn, cold-rolled, threaded, and straightened, or it may be hot-rolled. In addition, the steel threaded rod, bar, or studs subject to these investigations are non-headed and threaded along greater than 25 percent of their total actual length. A variety of finishes or coatings, such as plain oil finish as a temporary rust protectant, zinc coating (i.e., galvanized, whether by electroplating or hot-dipping), paint, and other similar finishes and coatings, may be applied to the merchandise.

Steel threaded rod is normally produced to American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) specifications ASTM A36, ASTM A193 B7/B7m, ASTM A193 B16, ASTM A307, ASTM A320 L7/L7M, ASTM A320 L43, ASTM A354 BC and BD, ASTM A449, ASTM F1554-36, ASTM F1554-55, ASTM F1554 Grade 105, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (“ASME”) specification ASME B18.31.3, and American Petroleum Institute (“API”) specification API 20E. All steel threaded rod meeting the physical description set forth above is covered by the scope of these investigations, whether or not produced according to a particular standard.

Subject merchandise includes material matching the above description that has been finished, assembled, or packaged in a third country, including by cutting, chamfering, coating, or painting the threaded rod, by attaching the threaded rod to, or packaging it with, another product, or any other finishing, assembly, or packaging operation that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the threaded rod.

Carbon and alloy steel threaded rod are also included in the scope of this investigation whether or not imported attached to, or in conjunction with, other parts and accessories such as nuts and washers. If carbon and alloy steel threaded rod are imported attached to, or in conjunction with, such non-subject merchandise, only the threaded rod is included in the scope.

Excluded from the scope of these investigations are: (1) threaded rod, bar, or studs which are threaded only on one or both ends and the threading covers 25 percent or less of the total actual length; and (2) stainless steel threaded rod, defined as steel threaded rod containing, by weight,1.2 percent or less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more of chromium, with or without other elements.

Excluded from the scope of the antidumping investigation on steel threaded rod from the People’s Republic of China is any merchandise covered by the existing antidumping order on Certain Steel Threaded Rod from the People’s Republic of China. See Certain Steel Threaded Rod from the People’s Republic of China: Notice of Antidumping Duty Order, 74 Fed. Reg. 17,154 (Dep’t Commerce Apr. 14, 2009).

Steel threaded rod is currently classifiable under subheadings 7318.15.5051, 7318.15.5056, and 7318.15.5090 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Subject merchandise may also enter under subheading 7318.15.2095 and 7318.19.0000 of the HTSUS. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope is dispositive.

— Alleged AD Margins.

Petitioner calculated estimated dumping margins of:

China:  53.57% to 55.60%
India:  25.43% to 28.34%
Taiwan:  32.10%
Thailand:  20.3%

— Named Exporters/ Producers

Petitioner included a list of companies that it believes are producers and exporters of the subject merchandise.  See attached list here.

— Named U.S. Importers

Petitioner included a list of companies that it believes are U.S. importers of the subject merchandise.  See attached list here.

— Estimated Schedule of Investigations.

February 21, 2019 – Petitions filed

March 13, 2019 – DOC initiates investigation

March 14, 2019 – ITC Staff Conference

April 7, 2019 – ITC preliminary determination

July 21, 2019 – DOC CVD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline)

September 19, 2019 – DOC AD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline)

February 1, 2020 – DOC AD/CVD final determination (assuming extended deadlines)

March 17, 2020 – ITC final determination (extended)

March 24, 2020 – DOC AD/CVD orders issued (extended)

This product has previously been subject to other AD/CVD investigations.  In 2009, AD/CVD orders were imposed on carbon steel threaded rod from China.  In 2013, although Petitioner tried to get AD/CVD orders imposed on carbon steel threaded rod from India and Thailand, the ITC made a negative determination (i.e, no injury or threat of injury caused by the subject imports). This Petitioner appears to be a serial user of US trade laws repeatedly trying to get the US government to issue protective duties against subject imports. Given that the Petitioner’s most recent attempt to get AD/CVD duties imposed was unsuccessful, foreign exporters or US importers of this product may be able to use similar arguments to explain why these new AD/CVD actions should also be rejected.