Share This Page

U.S. Steel leads dumping case

| Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Nine steel producers including U.S. Steel Corp. filed a trade case with government regulators on Tuesday claiming nine nations dumped oil and natural gas pipe products in the United States at below cost.

The case will be the largest and most important in steel industry history, said analyst Michelle Applebaum in Chicago.

The antidumping action was filed with the Dept. of Commerce and the International Trade Commission over imported pipe from India, South Korea and seven other nations.

The steel industry said imports have surged 111 percent in recent years from those countries, causing “material injury” to domestic producers of so-called oil country tubular goods.

Imports from those countries surged to 1.77 million tons in 2012 from 840,313 tons in 2010, said Thomas J. Gibson, CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institue, the industry's trade association.

“U.S. laws against unfair trade exist to counter market-distoring practices, like subsidies, and to restore conditions of fair trade,” Gibson said. “We applaud these domestic companies for taking a stand.”

David Phelps, president of the American Institute for International Steel, which supports free trade, said, “We believe that this massive filing is excessive and unwarranted and will disrupt the critical oil and gas drilling market.”

Petitioners include TMK IPSCO, which has two plants in Beaver County; Vallourec Star, with a tubing plant in Youngstown, Ohio; Boomberang Tube; Energex Tube, a unit of JMC Steel; Maverick Tube Corp.; Northwest Pipe Co.; Tejas Products; and Welded Tube USA Inc. U.S. Steel has tubing plants in Mc-Keesport and Lorain, Ohio. Steel sheet from its Irvin plant in West Mifflin is used to make pipe to transport natural gas.

Applebaum said the case against the nine countries totals half of all oil and natural gas pipe imports into the United States. Other countries cited in the petitions are the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam, she said.

“This case — if won — would be a landmark record win for the U.S. steel industry as it would essentially provide a Chinese Wall of defense against imported OCTG as well as transhipped product from China, which is a major problem today,” Applebaum said.

Producers including U.S. Steel won duties averaging 86 percent on Chinese oil and gas pipe in a similar case in 2009.

John D. Oravecz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7882 or joravecz@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.