Trade Compliance

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Canadian Steel Hit with Duties

Posted January 27, 2020

The U.S. government announced Friday that domestic producers of fabricated structural steel were being harmed by imports from China, Canada and Mexico.

What was determined by the Commerce Dept.?
  • Fabricated structural steel from the three countries had been sold at “less than fair value”;
  • Canadian imports were found to require anti-dumping duties of 6.7%
  • Products originating from China and Mexico did receive illegal government subsidies (in the form of tax credits, grants or loans, and export insurance);
  • Mexico fabricated steel imports were found to require both anti-dumping and countervailing duties of up to 99.45%
  • China fabricated steel imports were found to require both anti-dumping and countervailing duties of up to 360.63%

Imports of the steel from Canada — estimated at more than $720 million in 2018 — had already been found by Commerce not to have been unfairly subsidized in the preliminary determination made last July.

Background


On February 2019, the Chicago-based American Institute of Steel Construction, a steel industry trade lobby group, petitioned the U.S. government for protection from unfairly dumped and subsidized imports of fabricated structural steel from China, Mexico, and Canada.

In its complaint, AISC alleged that Canada was dumping the steel at a discount of up to 30%. Additionally, it claimed Canadian exporters were unfairly benefiting from more than forty government subsidy programs.

However, on September 4, 2019 Commerce said its preliminary investigation had found no evidence of any countervailable subsidies and little to support claims of dumping into the U.S. by Canadian steel exporters. As a result, Canada was given a provisional rate of a zero percent duty.

Where Things Go From Here


The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), self-described as the voice of Canada’s steel construction industry, responded to Commerce’s final determination of dumping by saying it would call on the federal government “to defend our industry from unlawful trade action.”

Claiming the Commerce action has nothing to do with illegal trade but instead has just been taken to keep foreign competition from entering the American market, CISC vows it “will pursue all avenues and provisions under NAFTA and WTO to ensure fairness in trade is preserved.”

A hearing by the U.S. International Trade Commission into whether dumping of the subject goods is materially injuring domestic producers was scheduled for January 28. A final injury determination is expected to be made on March 9, 2020.

If the ITC eventually concludes that imports of fabricated structural steel from Canada, China, and/or Mexico materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry, Commerce will issue anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders and instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect any cash deposits in accordance with the rate finally established in the proceedings.

However, should the ITC finally determine there was no injury, the investigations would then be terminated and any cash deposits taken in the meantime would be returned, as appropriate. 

Need More Information?


The U.S. Department of Commerce has published two fact sheets in connection with the preliminary and final determinations made regarding this issue.

Should you have any questions about the possible impact this change in duty treatment on fabricated structural steel originating in or shipped from Canada may have on your business, contact one of our trade experts today to get the answers you need. 

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