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Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced preliminary affirmative rulings that corrosion-resistant steel (CORE) and certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) imported from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) produced from substrate originating in the People’s Republic of China (China) are circumventing existing antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders on CORE and cold-rolled steel imported from China. As a result of today’s announcement, Commerce will instruct Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to begin collecting cash deposits on imports of CORE and cold-rolled steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate.

U.S. 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 United States.

CBP will collect AD and CVD cash deposits on imports of CORE produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate at rates of 199.43 percent and 39.05 percent, 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 percent and 256.44 percent, 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 United States 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 United States increased from two million dollars to $80 million after preliminary duties were imposed on Chinese products in 2015. Likewise, shipments of cold-rolled steel from Vietnam to the United States increased from nine million dollars to $215 million after preliminary duties were imposed on Chinese products in 2015.

These inquiries were conducted pursuant to requests from U.S. domestic producers of CORE and cold-rolled steel: Steel Dynamics, Inc. (IN), California Steel Industries (CA), AK Steel Corporation (OH), ArcelorMittal USA LLC (IN), Nucor Corporation (NC) and United States Steel Corporation (PA).

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

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based solely on factual evidence.

Original release appears at www.commerce.gov

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The Cold Finished Steel Bar Institute (CFSBI) has sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging early action to impose a remedy under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to protect the ability of the American steel industry to supply materials critical to the nation's defense and infrastructure requirements.

Read the letter to President Trump here (PDF): CFSBI Letter to Trump

"The bottom line is that we need help, and soon," said CFSBI Chairman William Geary, President of Nelsen Steel Company. "We respectfully urge that any remedy determined in the Section 232 case apply not only to the cold finished steel bar we produce, but also to downstream component parts made by our customers which are then incorporated into subassemblies, motors, a multitude of industrial and infrastructure applications, and of course, various weapons and defense systems, which are absolutely critical to the protection of our country," Mr. Geary said.

Cold finished steel bar is incorporated into a wide range of consumer, industrial, aerospace, and military products.  Essentially any product that contains a motor or moving part contains one or more components made from cold finished steel bar.  The U.S. cold finished steel bar industry produces high-quality products on an efficient and cost-competitive basis, using highly trained workers under environmentally sound conditions.

The Secretary of Commerce initiated the Section 232 investigation on steel imports on April 19, 2017.  Section 232 investigations are initiated to determine the effects of imports of any articles on U.S. national security. In this case, the Commerce Department is determining the effect of steel imports on the national security. The Secretary initiated the investigation on steel imports in light of the large volumes of excess global steel production and capacity – much of which results from foreign government subsidies and other unfair practices – which distort the U.S. and global steel markets. Steel is used in a variety of commercial, infrastructure and defense applications.

The CFSBI is represented by David A. Hartquist of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren, LLC, and Georgetown Economic Services (GES), a subsidiary of the law firm.

Originally published: PR News Wire

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