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Steel transhipped via Vietnam to U.S. faces huge duties

Product found to have originated in Korea could be tariffed 456%
July 04,2019
The United States will impose punitive duties on steel products imported from Vietnam but originating from Korea for circumventing anti-dumping measures.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said Tuesday that it will take action against steel products from Vietnam that were found to have been first produced in Korea or Taiwan, levying duties of up to 456.23 percent.

It explained in a statement that some corrosion-resistant steel products and cold-rolled steel exported to the United States from Vietnam originated from the other two countries and only underwent minor processing in the Southeast Asian country.

The United States has imposed duties on corrosion-resistant steel products from Korea and Taiwan since December 2015 and cold-rolled steel from the two countries since February 2016.

Under U.S. law, products that are completed or assembled in a third country before being imported to the United States could be considered as avoiding U.S. duties.

The duties will apply to future imports of such products if they are found to have originated in Korea or Taiwan and also on some products on which duties have not yet been paid.

The U.S. Commerce Department noted that shipments of cold-rolled steel from Vietnam jumped 916.4 percent after the duties were imposed, while imports of corrosion-resistant steel products from Vietnam rose 331.9 percent.

It said that it conducted an investigation after requests were received from U.S.-based steelmakers, such as Steel Dynamics, California Steel Industries, AK Steel Corporation and others.

Local steelmaker Posco, which operates in Vietnam, said its Vietnamese unit will be unaffected by the U.S government measures.

“Export products to the United States [from Vietnam] use Vietnamese materials even before the investigation by the U.S. Commerce Department,” said the steelmaker. “We believe that there will be no impact on the Vietnam unit.”

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]