Producers in China and six other countries sold cold-rolled steel at unfairly low prices in the U.S. market and will be taxed as much as 266% on the price, the Commerce Department said in a preliminary decision on March 1.
The government imposed tariffs of 266% on imports from China, with goods from Brazil, India, South Korea, Russia, Japan and the U.K. also subject to duties. Shipments from Brazil will face 39% penalties, and South Korean producers will face taxes of as much as 6.9%.
This is the second time since December that the U.S. government has penalized foreign steel producers, including Chinese mills, for selling the metal in the U.S. at unfairly low prices, or dumping. Domestic producers including Nucor Corp. and U.S. Steel Corp. began filing trade cases accusing some global competitors of unfair subsidies and other illegal trade practices in June.
U.S. producers have filed cases accusing foreign steelmakers of dumping and subsidizing four varieties of steel products. In December, the government found that China, India, Italy and South Korea had dumped corrosion-resistant steel in the U.S. and levied taxes of 256% on imports from China. Other duties ranged from 3% to 9%.
The duties may not satisfy domestic producers, said Caitlin Webber, a Washington-based analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
“The dumping rates for South Korea, the second-largest source of these products, were far below what the U.S. industry alleged,” Webber said in an interview. “Apart from the prohibitive Chinese rates, this is the second disappointing dumping finding for the U.S. industry and doesn’t bode well for the industry’s third and final case this year.”
Regulators had previously determined that hot-rolled, cold-rolled and corrosion-resistant steel from China and other trading partners has been unlawfully subsidized.
Imports of cold-rolled steel fell by 9.4% in 2015 to 2.43 million tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the U.S. Census Bureau.