Six U.S. pipe makers and the United Steelworkers have applauded the U.S. Department of Commerce for its final affirmative findings that Chinese producers of circular welded steel pipe are dumping below-cost product in the United States, and that pipe exports benefit from large subsidies provided by the Chinese government.
The Commerce Department found that Chinese pipe exports are being dumped at rates ranging from 69.20% to 85.55%. In addition, the Commerce Department found that Chinese pipe producers benefit from illegal government subsidies at rates ranging from 29.57 to 615.92 percent. The average subsidy rate for all respondents is 37.22 percent.
Significantly, this is the first investigation involving Chinese government subsidies to the steel industry. The Commerce Department also made final determinations with regard to critical circumstances, which will allow duties to be applied retroactively for 90 days from the dates of the preliminary determinations.
Today's final decisions are the next steps in the imposition of final duties on Chinese circular welded pipe. The International Trade Commission will vote on June 20, 2008, on whether the U.S. industry producing circular welded pipe is injured as a result of dumped and subsidized pipe from China. The ITC made preliminary affirmative injury findings on July 31, 2007.
Pipe and tube imports under investigation increased from 10,000 tons in 2002 to 750,000 tons in 2007 – a 6,900 percent increase. As a result of this surge in low-priced imports, U.S. producers lost market share and suffered steep decreases in profitability over the period investigated. 500 American jobs, approximately 25 percent of the total workforce employed in this segment of the domestic pipe industry, have been lost since 2002 as a result of Chinese imports.
The trade suit, filed in parallel with the International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce on June 7, 2007, was brought by the Ad Hoc Coalition for Fair Pipe Imports From China and the United Steelworkers. The Ad Hoc Coalition includes Allied Tube & Conduit, IPSCO Tubulars, Inc., Northwest Pipe Company, Sharon Tube Company, Western Tube & Conduit Corporation, and Wheatland Tube Company. Circular welded steel pipe products, known as standard and structural pipe, are used in plumbing applications, HVAC systems, sprinkler systems, fencing, and construction.