Trade Resources Industry Views Anonymous Sources Confirmed to Steelorbis That Representatives of The US Rebar Industry

Anonymous Sources Confirmed to Steelorbis That Representatives of The US Rebar Industry

Anonymous sources have confirmed to SteelOrbis that representatives of the US rebar industry filed a "critical circumstances" allegation late Wednesday in the ongoing AD/CVD investigation of rebar from Turkey.

The allegation, which claims that imports increased after the initial filing of the AD/CVD petition (compared to a period of time before the initial filing), requires a documentable increase threshold of 15 percent or more by the US Department of Commerce (DOC). The two periods of comparison (before and after filing) will be three months each.

Additionally, the petitioning US mills have relied on another provision of the DOC's critical circumstances regulations: that importers, exporters or producers had reason to believe that a proceeding was imminent. According to sources, US rebar mills have alleged that there was speculation about the case as early as May 2013, as representative from the US industry testified about Turkish imports during a sunset review hearing involving rebar duties from other countries. Further, members of the Turkish steel industry met with members of the DOC and US Congress in June 2013 to dissuade them from initiating a trade case on Turkish rebar.

As such, US mills are asking the DOC to set the comparison period from May through September 2013 (when, according to US import data, Turkish rebar imports totaled 323,295 metric tons), whereas the base period should be December 2012 through April 2013 (when Turkish rebar imports totaled 280,181 metric tons). The difference in import levels between the two periods is 15.39 percent, meeting the DOC's 15 percent threshold.

Combined with allegations that the case meets other critical circumstances requirements, the current expectation is that the DOC will make a determination at the same time it makes its preliminary determinations in the AD/CVD case, which is scheduled for February/March 2014. In light of the new allegations, however, those dates could be postponed.

Finally, while it is "routine" for the DOC to make affirmative determinations in critical circumstances cases because the decision is based solely on statistical calculations, it is much less common for the US International Trade Commission (ITC), to determine affirmatively because their standards are much harder to meet.  Either way, sources tell SteelOrbis that even a slim possibility that determined duties will be retroactively applied will have an immediate effect on demand for imported rebar in the US.

"Critical circumstances" is a provision in both the antidumping and countervailing duty law that allows for the limited retroactive imposition of duties if certain conditions are met. Affirmative decisions of critical circumstances result in the retroactive imposition of duties on unliquidated entries of imported merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days prior to the date the duties would normally be levied. This provision serves two purposes: (1) to deter importers from attempting to circumvent the antidumping and countervailing duty laws by making massive shipments immediately after the filing of a petition (and before any relief can be imposed) (2) provide relief from the effects of such massive shipments if they do occur.

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US Rebar Mills File “Critical Circumstances” Allegation Against Turkish Rebar
Topics: Metallurgy