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U.S. Trade commission delays drilling pipe dump sanctions vote

| Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, 3:16 a.m.

The United States International Trade Commission delayed a vote until next week on possible sanctions against nine nations involved in exports of Oil Country Tubular Goods to the U.S.

That's pipe made for use in gas and oil drilling.

According to a notice issued by the commission, Philippine producer HLD Clark Pipe Co. Inc. asked for reopening of the record so it could provide more information about pipe exports by Saudi Arabia.

That prompted a delay from Thursday until Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. for a vote on pipe exports from Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

According to the notice, the U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday amended its final determination concerning pipe from Saudi Arabia.

On July 11, the Commerce Department reversed a preliminary opinion it issued in February that South Korea was not dumping pipe into the American market.

On July 2, 2013, eight American companies, including U.S. Steel, asked the International Trade Commission to investigate pipe imports.

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel makes Oil Country Tubular Goods at some of its Tubular Division plants but not the McKeesport Tubular Operations scheduled to be idled indefinitely on Sunday.

When U.S. Steel announced the idling on June 2, a company spokeswoman said the effect of “unfairly traded tubular products imported into the United States” was a factor in decisions to idle operations in McKeesport and Bellville, Texas.

Local politicians and United Steelworker officials campaigned for sanctions in part because of the McKeesport Tubular situation.

On July 15, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, whose district includes McKeesport, joined U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Scranton, in testifying before the commission.

Korea's alleged dumping of pipe was targeted by the Alliance for American Manufacturing at a series of “Save Our Steel Jobs” rallies, including one in Munhall at U.S. Steel's Research & Technology Center on May 19.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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