WASHINGTON, June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Commerce published in the Federal Register today its preliminary affirmative determination of critical circumstances regarding imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from the People's Republic of China, a decision that was applauded by the domestic industry.
On February 12, 2016, AK Steel Corporation (NYSE: AKS), Allegheny Ludlum, LLC d/b/a ATI Flat Rolled Products, an Allegheny Technologies company (NYSE: ATI), North American Stainless, and Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC ("Petitioners") filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with the Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission seeking relief from unfairly traded imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China that are causing material injury to the domestic industry.
On May 6, 2016, the Petitioners requested that the Commerce Department make an expedited affirmative preliminary finding that critical circumstances exist with regard to imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China. Critical circumstances are found where there has been a "massive" surge in imports during a "relatively short period" after the filing of petitions seeking relief from unfairly traded imports.
"We are encouraged that the Commerce Department has issued an expedited affirmative preliminary determination that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China," commented John Herrmann, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, counsel to the Petitioners. "This action will help discourage efforts by unscrupulous Chinese producers and exporters to rush product into the United States in order to avoid the likely imposition of provisional countervailing duties in mid-July," said Mr. Herrmann.
As the result of this preliminary determination, in the likely event it reaches an affirmative preliminary countervailing duty determination on July 11, 2016, the Commerce Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of stainless steel sheet and strip from China that are imported into the United States on or after the date that is 90 days prior the date of publication in the Federal Register of the affirmative preliminary countervailing duty determination. At the same time, the Commerce Department will instruct CBP to require U.S. importers to post a cash deposit equal to the estimated preliminary subsidy rates reflected in the preliminary countervailing duty determination. While the Commerce Department's preliminary critical circumstances determination was made in connection with the on-going countervailing duty investigation, the determination is expected to affect all U.S. imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China, and a similar preliminary critical circumstances determination is expected in the Commerce Department's on-going antidumping investigation.
Imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China increased by 133 percent between 2013 and 2015. China was the largest supplier of stainless sheet and strip to the U.S. market in 2015, accounting for almost half of all imports. This surge in imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China was driven by low import pricing that caused U.S. producers to lose significant sales and profits.
Stainless steel sheet and strip is a flat-rolled alloy steel containing, by weight, 1.2 percent or less of carbon and 10.5 percent or more of chromium, with or without other elements. Stainless steel sheet and strip is used in consumer and industrial applications where the corrosion resistance, heat resistance, or design characteristics of stainless steel are required.
The petitioners are represented in these actions by Kathleen W. Cannon, David A. Hartquist, John M. Herrmann, and Grace W. Kim of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.
Contact: John Herrmann
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SOURCE Kelley Drye & Warren LLP