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Steelmakers troubled by anti-dumping suits in U.S.

Steelmakers troubled by anti-dumping suits in U.S.

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Published : 2013-12-20 20:30
Updated : 2013-12-20 20:30

The Korean steel industry is troubled by a series of anti-dumping lawsuits filed against its key export items in the North American market.

Korean steelmakers have seldom been intimidated by such conventional trade protection measures in the past, but things may be different this time, as the global market slump is still showing no signs of recovery next year.

In July, a U.S. steel producers’ consortium filed a petition against 10 Korean steelmakers, seeking anti-dumping relief on Oil Country Tubular Goods, special purpose steel tubes used for oil drilling.

As of last year, Korean companies exported 98.5 percent of their OCTGs to the United States and had a 24.2 percent share in the local market, according to the Korea International Trade Association.

“Even if the U.S. Department of Commerce decided to impose dumping duties, it would have little impact on our steel exports,” said an official with Hyundai Hysco, Korea’s largest OCTG exporter.

The optimism, however, subsided as the actual amount of steel sales to the U.S. fell while Korea’s steel manufacturing capacity continued to rise, despite the sluggish global demands.

Korea’s export of steel products to the U.S. in September fell by 10.2 percent, compared to the previous year, and this was largely due to the 30.7 percent decrease of OCTG sales, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

Also, in September, the U.S. International Trade Commission set up an anti-dumping probe into Korea-manufactured Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel, used in generators, transformers and electrical motors.

“Of course, it is possible that the trade fluctuation is only temporary and that the figure recovers its former level,” said an official from KOTRA.

“But the rising frequency of the anti-dumping lawsuits against Korean steel products reflects the protective trade policies of the U.S. government.”

Canada, too, is seeking to reinforce its trade barriers against Korean steel and imposed anti-dumping duties on copper tube products last month.

Should its international trade commission approve the decision, a 82.4 percent customs rate will be added to the price of Korean copper tube items, according to officials.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)

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