One of the largest U.S. producers of steel nails today requested that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) impose antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of steel nails from India, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, the Republic of Turkey, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Mid Continent Steel & Wire, Inc. (Mid Continent) of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, filed an antidumping and countervailing duty Petition alleging that unfairly traded imports of steel nails from these seven countries are materially injuring the U.S. industry.
Mid Continent’s Petition indicates the following margins of dumping:
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The Petition also identifies dozens of foreign government programs that likely provide unfair subsidies to producers of steel nails in these countries. The amounts of those subsidies will be determined by Commerce.
The Petition demonstrates that unfairly priced and subsidized imports of steel nails are injuring the U.S. industry by undercutting prices and taking sales through unfair trading practices. Antidumping duties are intended to offset the amount by which a product is sold at less than fair value in the United States (i.e., the amount by which the product is sold below production costs or at a price that is below the price charged in a comparable market). Countervailing duties are intended to offset the amount by which a product is improperly subsidized by a foreign government. Dumped imports of steel nails from these countries constitute a large and increasing share of the U.S. market. Imports of nails from these countries surged nearly 90% from 2011 to 2013, growing from 134,821 short tons in 2011 to nearly 255,639 short tons in 2013. Shipments of steel nails from the countries identified in the Petition accounted for 51.2% of all nail imports in 2013, compared to 30.4% in 2011. This enormous increase far outstrips the improvements that have been made in the U.S. housing market in recent years.
This set of cases comes two years after the Commerce Department imposed antidumping duties on imports of steel nails from the United Arab Emirates, and six years after antidumping duties were imposed on imports of steel nails from China. Both antidumping orders remain in place, and in January 2014 the Commerce Department renewed the China order for at least another five years.
“Mid Continent Steel & Wire remains as firmly committed to U.S. manufacturing and the valuable jobs and benefits it brings to our community as the day my brother and I started the company over 25 years ago,” said David W. Libla, President and CEO of Mid Continent. “As this third set of cases in seven years should make clear, we will continue to vigorously defend our markets, our workers, and the bedrock principles of free and fair competition. We are and have always been ready and willing to compete with any producer in the world, so long as they abide by the trade laws their countries have agreed to follow. That will not change.”
The filing of the Petition starts the process by which Commerce will determine whether imports are being dumped and unfairly subsidized, and the ITC will determine whether the U.S. steel nail industry has been materially injured, or is threatened with injury, by reason of the imports. The ITC must reach its preliminary determination of material injury or threat of material injury within 45 days, or no later than July 14, 2014. Commerce is required to announce preliminary countervailing duties in 85 days and preliminary antidumping duties in 160 days, though both deadlines may be extended.
Once Commerce makes affirmative determinations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will require importers to pay cash deposits or post bonds equal to the estimated amounts of dumping and unfair subsidies. The entire investigative process takes approximately one year. Final determinations of injury, dumping and unfair subsidies should occur in mid-2015.
The Petition covers certain steel nails up to 12 inches long that are produced from any type of steel. The steel nails covered by the Petition can have any type of finish, head, shank, point and diameter, and whether they are sold in bulk or collated in any manner using any type of material.
Mid Continent Steel & Wire, founded in 1987, has over 400 employees in several locations throughout the United States. Mid Continent is one of the largest producers of steel nails in the United States, with customers throughout the country. Mid Continent offers a full range of steel nails for construction and industrial applications.