U.S. Industry Files Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Petitions Targeting Forged Steel Fittings from China, Italy, and Taiwan

On October 5, 2017: U.S. producer Bonney Forge Corporation and the United Steel Workers Union filed petitions charging that unfairly-traded imports of forged steel fittings (“FSFs”) from China, Italy, and Taiwan and subsidized imports from China are causing material injury to the domestic industry. The petitions allege that producers in each of the three countries are dumping FSFs in the U.S. market at sizeable margins and that producers in China receive an unspecified amount of subsidies.

Dumping occurs when a foreign company sells a product in the United States at less than its normal value. Petitioner alleges that various foreign manufacturers are dumping FSFs at significant margins.

Countervailable Subsidization occurs when a foreign government provides programs and incentives that likely provide unfair subsidies to producers of FSFs from various manufacturers. Petitioners allege that China is providing countervailable subsidies to producers at, as yet, unknown levels.

The petition alleges the following margins of dumping:

Country        Margin of Dumping
China               141.41%
Italy                  47.87%
Taiwan             109.35%

Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings

Antidumping investigations involve two separate parts: an evaluation by the U.S. International Trade Commission of whether U.S. producers are being injured by reason of the imports, and a calculation by the U.S. Department of Commerce of the margin of dumping of individual exporters and the rate of subsidization.

The U.S. International Trade Commission will initiate its investigation into whether PET resin imports from various countries injure the U.S. domestic industry, and will make its preliminary determination by approximately November 20, 2017. Importers, producers, and exporters can participate in the U.S. International Trade Commission’s evaluation by filling out and sending in a questionnaire response about production, importation, and sales of FSFs.

The U.S. Department of Commerce will evaluate the petition to determine whether it contains allegations and evidence that is reasonably available to the Petitioners indicating that FSFs from the three countries is being dumped (sold at less than fair value) and whether China is providing unfair subsidies. Commerce will determine whether to initiate its investigation by October 25, 2017.

Retroactive Duties may be required by U.S. Customs if there is an allegation of critical circumstances. If so, imports arriving after October 5, 2017 (the date on which the petition was filed), but before the date of the preliminary countervailing duty determination (which can be as early as approximately December 29, 2017), may also be subject to the assessment of duties. This means importers could be required to pay cash deposits on merchandise currently on the water. TLD has developed effective strategies to reduce potential liability for such shipments.

Estimated Timeline:
Based upon the filing date of the petition, DOC and ITC will issue their preliminary decisions on approximately the following dates:

Event Date

DOC Initiation: October 25, 2017
ITC Questionnaires Deadline: Mid-October 2017
ITC Conference: October 26, 2017
ITC Post-Conference Brief: October 31, 2017
ITC Preliminary Decision: November 20, 2017
DOC Deadline for Quantity and Value Response: Mid November 2017
DOC Respondent Selection: Mid/late November 2017
DOC Questionnaire Issued: Late November 2017
DOC Questionnaires Issued/Responses Due: Late November/December 2017
DOC CVD Preliminary Determination: December 29, 2017
(can be extended to March 4, 2018)
DOC AD Preliminary Determination: March 14, 2018
(can be extended to May 3, 2018)

TLD assists foreign producers and exporters, and U.S. importers (those who are ultimately liable for paying the increased import duties) to defend their interests in antidumping duty proceedings.
Should you require, TLD will be able to provide you with a detailed proposal along with more detailed background on the antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigatory process as well as a proposed team of attorneys and consultants.

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The merchandise covered by this investigation is carbon and alloy forged steel fittings, whether unfinished (commonly known as blanks or rough forgings) or finished. Such fittings are made in a variety of shapes including, but not limited to, elbows, tees, crosses, laterals, couplings, reducers, caps, plugs, bushings and unions. Forged steel fittings are covered regardless of end finish, whether threaded, socket-weld or other end connections.

While these fittings are generally manufactured to specifications ASME B16.11, MSS SP-79, and MSS SP-83, ASTM A105, ASTM A350 and ASTM A182, the scope is not limited to fittings made to these specifications.

The term forged is an industry term used to describe a class of products included in applicable standards, and does not reference an exclusive manufacturing process. Forged steel fittings are not manufactured from casting. Pursuant to the applicable standards, fittings may also be machined from bar stock or machined from seamless pipe and tube.

All types of fittings are included in the scope regardless of nominal pipe size (which may or may not be expressed in inches of nominal pipe size), pressure rating (usually, but not necessarily expressed in pounds of pressure, e.g., 2,000 or 2M; 3,000 or 3M; 6,000 or 6M; 9,000 or 9M), wall thickness, and whether or not heat treated.

Excluded from this scope are all fittings entirely made of stainless steel. Also excluded are flanges and butt weld fittings.

Subject carbon and alloy forged steel fittings are normally entered under HTSUS 7307.99.1000, 7307.99.3000, 7307.99.5045, and 7307.99.5060. They also may be entered under HTSUS 7307.92.3010, 7307.92.3030, 7307.92.9000, and 7326.19.0010.

The HTSUS subheadings and specifications are provided for convenience and customs purposes; the written description of the scope is dispositive.

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