Even as the U.S. Commerce Dept. readies a ruling on whether Russian hot-rolled steel products have been sold in the U.S. at less the fair value, the next decision deadline on so called "dumping" from Brazil and Japan is more than two months away. The department has until Apr. 28 to make a final ruling on whether Brazil and Japan have dumped hot-rolled steel on the U.S. by selling it at less than fair value, or have illegally subsidized its manufacture. Commerce ruled preliminarily that both countries had done those things. Before antidumping and countervailing duties can be imposed, however, the U.S. International Trade Commission would have to make a final determination that the U.S. steel industry has been hurt by the imports. In the meantime, Commerce has ordered the U.S. Customs Service to require that importers of hot-rolled steel from Japan and Brazil post a bond or pay cash deposits, in some cases as far back as mid-November 1998.