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U.S. stainless steel bar producers invoke antidumping duty terms for Indian peers

Sources: Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Through the U.S. Department of Commerce, seven domestic stainless steel bar producers have filed a request for changed circumstances reviews, arguing that Viraj Profiles and Venus Wire Industries Pvt. Ltd. should be immediately reinstated back under the existing antidumping duty order on competing product from India. Following respective 2004 and 2011 revocations from the order, they contend, Viraj Profiles and Venus Wire resumed dumping concrete reinforcing and other stainless steel bar products in the U.S.

The domestic producers are Carpenter Technology Corp.; Crucible Industries; Electralloy/G.O. Carlson, Inc.; North American Stainless; Outokumpu Stainless Bar; Universal Stainless & Alloy Products; and, Valbruna Slater Stainless. They allege dumping margins ranging from 9.35 percent to 46.10 percent for Viraj Profiles and 26.68 percent to 77.83 percent for Venus Wire. Both companies were conditionally revoked from an antidumping duty order after receiving zero or de minimis dumping margins for three consecutive administrative review periods. The Commerce Department granted revocation to Viraj Profiles and Venus Wire contingent on their agreement to immediate reinstatement of the order if they were later found to have resumed dumping stainless steel bar into the U.S. market.

"The available evidence shows that Viraj Profiles and Venus Wire have resumed dumping. As such, they should no longer be entitled to benefit from their conditional revocation from coverage under the antidumping duty order. If the antidumping duty order is to function properly, the Department must ensure that conditionally revoked companies adhere to the conditions of their revocation agreements," according to U.S. producers’ counsel Larry Lasoff. "The dumping practices by Viraj Profiles and Venus Wire must be addressed immediately or their behavior will significantly damage the effectiveness of the existing antidumping duty order on stainless bar that U.S. producers worked so hard to put into place."

Antidumping duties are intended to offset the amount by which a product is sold at less than fair value, or "dumped," in the United States. The margin of dumping is calculated by the Commerce Department. Estimated duties in the amount of the dumping are collected from importers at the time of importation. Upon petitions from parties such as the domestic stainless steel bar producers, the Commerce Department is required to determine within 45 days whether to a) initiate the request for a changed circumstances review, and b) issue a simultaneous preliminary determination that leads to the suspension of liquidation of imports of these products manufactured and exported by Viraj Profiles and Venus Wire. The entire proceeding must be completed within 270 days.

Stainless steel bar covered under the duty is straight length, hot-rolled, forged, turned, cold-drawn, cold-rolled or otherwise cold-finished, or ground; and, has a uniform solid cross section along its whole length in the shape of circles, segments of circles, ovals, rectangles (including squares), triangles, hexagons, octagons, or other convex polygons. It includes cold-finished products that are turned or ground in straight lengths, whether produced from hot-rolled bar or from straightened and cut rod or wire, plus reinforcing bars that have indentations, ribs, grooves, or other rolling process deformations.