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U.S. hits Korea with antidumping steel tariff

May 03,2018
The U.S. government has slapped antidumping duties on imports of certain steel products from five countries including Korea.

“The United States International Trade Commission [USITC] today determined that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod from Italy, Korea, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom … sold in the United States at less than fair value,” said the U.S. trade commission in a press release on Tuesday. “As a result of the USITC’s affirmative determinations, [the Department of] Commerce will issue antidumping duty orders on imports of this product from Italy, Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.”

Wire rods are intermediate steel products used in a wide range of goods such as nails and auto parts.

In March, the U.S. Department of Commerce determined that “exporters from Italy, Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom are dumping carbon and alloy steel wire rod in the United States … [at] less than fair value.”

Duties levied by the U.S. trade commission will be as much as 147.63 percent. Korea will face an antidumping duty up to 41.1 percent.

According to Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Wednesday, Korean steel producer Posco has been paying an antidumping duty in accordance with a ruling by the Commerce Department in March. The Trade Ministry also pointed out that Korea’s wire rod shipments to the United States are not significant in terms of total steel exports by the country.

Last year, Korean steelmakers shipped wire rods worth $17 million to the United States, accounting for about 0.5 percent of total steel exports to the U.S. market that year.

The new duties on specific steel products is not related to a 25 percent tariff on steel imports, for which Korea yesterday earned an exemption before any other country. Those tariffs are based on Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which allows the U.S. government to impose tariffs to protect “national security.” The White House said in a statement that “Korea will no longer threaten to impair the national security [of the United States].”

“[Posco] will respond by appealing the decision,” said the Trade Ministry on Wednesday, adding that the government will work closely with the industry and request a “fair and objective” ruling on Korean products through “bi- and multi-lateral channels.”

Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Commerce Department announced the result of its investigations into imports of polyethylene terephthalate (Pet) resin from Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan.

“Commerce preliminarily determined that exporters from Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan have sold Pet resin in the United States at less than fair value,” the U.S. Commerce Department said in the announcement. The dumping rates by Korean producers ranged from 8.81 percent to as much as 101.41 percent. The department said that it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from Pet resin importers from the mentioned countries.


BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]