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US government to probe Taiwanese steel nail imports

The Bureau of Foreign Trade yesterday confirmed that the US steel industry had requested that the US government impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Taiwanese steel nails.

The bureau said Taipei would watch Washington’s investigation closely and called on local manufacturers to cooperate with the government in preparing for the US’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probes.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Mid Continent Steel & Wire Inc said it had made a complaint to both the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission, asking them to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of steel nails from Taiwan, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Oman, Turkey and Vietnam.

The Poplar Bluff, Missouri-based company said imports of steel nails from these seven countries have materially injured the US steel sector. It also alleged that dozens of foreign government programs are likely to provide unfair subsidies to producers of steel nails in these countries.

The US Department of Commerce is in charge of both anti-dumping and anti-subsidy inquiries, while the US International Trade Commission (ITC) is responsible for looking into the damage incurred by the US steel industry, the bureau said.

The ITC has asked the Taiwanese respondents in the case to answer its questionnaire by June 12, the bureau said.

According to US Customs statistics, steelmakers from the seven countries shipped 255,639 tonnes of steel nails to the US last year, up by nearly 90 percent from 134,821 tonnes in 2011.

Shipments of steel nails from the seven countries accounted for 51.2 percent of all nail imports in the US last year, compared with 30.4 percent in 2011, data showed.

If the US government decides to start an investigation into steel nails, it would be the second probe into the nation’s steel product exports following last year’s probe into non-oriented electrical steel (NOES) products, it added.

On May 16, the US Department of Commerce announced it had set preliminary anti-dumping duties on Taiwanese NOES makers.

Leicong Industry Co (麗鋼) has been ordered to pay an anti-dumping tariff of 52.23 percent, while China Steel Corp (中鋼) and other Taiwanese firms have been ordered to pay a 28.14 percent tariff.

Source – The Taipei Times

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