On top of reviving rarely-used national security action to slap 25 percent on all steel products from South Korean and other major exporters, the U.S. Department of Commerce went on with more common way to impose higher levies on Korean steel, which made up the third largest share in steel imports to the United States last year regardless of repeated tariff actions.
According to multiple sources from the steel industry on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce has made a preliminary determination on Monday, local time, to impose 11.64 percent anti-dumping duty on thick steel plates made by Hyundai Steel Co. and 0.9 percent by Dongkuk Steel Mill Co. The duties that have been determined in an annual renewal review are based on thick steel plates imported from 2016 to 2017. The U.S. government has been imposing duties on Korean thick steel plates used in building ships and bridges since 1999.
The U.S. commerce department calculated a de minimis preliminary subsidy rate of less than 2 percent for Dongkuk Steel Mill but higher for Hyundai Steel. A final dumping margin will be delivered within 120 days.
The latest preliminary determination comes after the U.S. Department of Commerce levied 2.05 percent anti-dumping duty on Hyundai Steel and 1.84 percent on Dongkuk Steel Mill in September, last year, in its 2015-2016 annual review. If the dumping margin is determined as de minimis - 2 percent or below - law provides for termination of investigation.
In the latest preliminary review, the U.S. Commerce Department also calculated a countervailing duty of 0.54 percent for Hyundai Steel and 0.21 percent for Dongkuk Steel Mill, respectively, with both margins belonging to de minimis.
Meanwhile, last month, the United States International Trade Commission extended tariffs on steel plates imported from three countries - Korea, India, and Indonesia - citing damage to the U.S. steel industry from continued subsidies from their governments.
By Kang Doo-soon and Lee Eun-joo
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