Last week, Worthington Industries (Petitioner) filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions against Certain Non-Refillable Steel Cylinders from China.

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.

Worthington Industries previously filed petitions that led to AD/CVD orders being imposed against steel propane cylinders from China and Thailand in August 2019, and also AD/CVD orders against high pressure steel cylinders from China since June 2012.  With each successive petition filing, Worthington Industries has expanded the scope of its products that are covered by the protection of U.S. trade laws.

These AD/CVD petitions are an example of how tariffs imposed to protect one industry have trickled down to trigger further trade remedy actions in downstream industries.  In March 2018, President Trump ordered Section 232 tariffs imposed on all steel imports.  Because the Section 232 duties increased Worthington Industries’ costs for the steel needed to produce its cylinders, it faced increased difficulty in competing against imported cylinders imports that are not burdened by any tariffs on its steel inputs   U.S. manufacturers of products consuming steel and aluminum (e.g., steel kegs, steel wheels, forged steel fittings, file cabinets, lawn mower engines, alloy aluminum sheet) have been the most prevalent filers of new AD/CVD petitions in the past two years.

Scope

The petition identifies the merchandise to be covered by this AD/CVD investigation as non-refillable steel cylinders that meet the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Specifications 39 (“DOT 39”).   The steel cylinders are used for a wide variety of applications, including storing refrigerants, helium, and chemicals.

Alleged AD/CVD Margins.

Petitioner calculated estimated dumping margins ranging between 60.78%.

Petitioner did not provide any specific subsidy margin calculations.

Named Exporters/ Producers

Here is Petitioner’s list of Chinese producers and exporters of the steel cylinders at issue.

Named U.S. Importers

Here is Petitioner’s list of U.S. importers of the the steel cylinders at issue.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations.

March 27, 2020 – Petitions filed

April 16, 2020 – DOC initiates investigation

April 17, 2020 – ITC Staff Conference

May 11, 2020 – ITC preliminary determination

August 24, 2020 – DOC CVD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline) (6/22/20 – unextended)

October 23, 2020 – DOC AD preliminary determination (assuming extended deadline) (8/24/20 – unextended)

March 7, 2021 – DOC final determination (extended and AD/CVD aligned)

April 21, 2021 – ITC final determination (extended)

April 28, 2021 – DOC AD/CVD orders issued (extended)