The U.S. affirmed the level of dumping margins it found on cold-rolled steel imports from China, paving the way for permanent duties on the product used in cars and appliances.
Dumping margins were 266% for Chinese imports and 71% for Japanese cold-rolled imports, the Commerce Department said Tuesday in a statement. The department also found that imports of the variety of steel from China were subsidized by 256%, higher than the 227% found in a preliminary ruling in December.
The rulings are part of a package of cases that involve five different steel products. U.S. producers including Nucor Corp. and U.S. Steel Corp. began filing formal trade actions in June accusing more than a dozen countries of selling steel products in the U.S. at unfairly low prices.
In March, the U.S. also imposed preliminary tariffs on imports from Brazil, India, South Korea, Russia and the U.K. Final determinations on cold-rolled steel imports from countries other than China and Japan are scheduled to be announced on July 21.
The last stage in this case will come in a decision from the International Trade Commission that is scheduled to be made public on June 30. If the ITC concludes that domestic producers have been injured by unfair trade, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce will order the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to levy duties on Chinese steel imports commensurate with the dumping margin and subsidy rate the government found.
U.S. producers have filed trade cases accusing foreign competitors of unfairly selling hot-rolled, cold-rolled, corrosion-resistant and stainless steel as well as steel plates to U.S. consumers.
Imports of cold-rolled steel fell by 33% this year through March, the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau. Cold rolling makes steel stronger and more flexible than hot-rolled coil, the benchmark product.
By Sonja Elmquist