Domestic steel producers take a stand against surges of subsidized steel pipe.
Thanks to a boom in natural gas exploration, the U.S. is now using more OCTG steel pipe. (OCTG stands for "Oil Country Tubular Goods." Essentially, this is the seamless steel pipe used in drilling, casing, and carrying natural gas).
Although domestic U.S. steel producers are manufacturing OCTG steel pipe, heavily subsidized OCTG pipe is entering the U.S. market at a rapid pace. In fact, according to Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), imports of subsidized OCTG pipe have surged by 111 percent in the past few years, and are harming America's domestic steel industry.
Gibson said that in recent years the volume of U.S. imports of OCTG from countries such as India, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam soared from 840,313 net tons in 2010 to 1,771,320 net tons in 2012. In the first quarter of 2013, 425,987 net tons of imports entered the market from these countries.
A number of steel manufacturers, including Boomerang Tube; Energex Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group; Maverick Tube Corporation; Northwest Pipe Company; Tejas Tubular Products; TMK IPSCO; United States Steel Corporation; Vallourec Star, L.P.; Welded Tube USA, Inc., have now filed petitions with the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the International Trade Commissions (ITC), seeking antidumping relief.
Gibson says that these companies are right to file for dumping relief against unfairly dumped product:
"U.S. laws against unfair trade exist to counter market-distorting practices – like subsidies -- and to restore conditions of fair trade, but this cannot occur unless all parties play by the rules. It is vital for U.S. companies to have the chance to compete for business on a level playing field."
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