Alleging unfair prices, U.S. to slap duties on steel rebar from Japan

The U.S. Department of Commerce said Tuesday it has decided to impose an anti-dumping duty on imports of steel reinforcement bar from Japan after concluding that it was sold at unfair prices in the United States.

Following the final decision reached by the department, Japanese exporters, including Jonan Steel and Kyoei Steel, could face an anti-dumping duty of 206.43 percent to 209.46 percent, the department said.

The duty will be imposed following the backing of the independent U.S. International Trade Commission, which is conducting a parallel investigation on whether the U.S. producers have been harmed by steel rebar imports from Japan. Its decision is expected on or before June 29.

“The United States can no longer sit back and watch as its essential industries like steel are destroyed by foreign companies unfairly selling their products in the U.S. markets,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

Advocating an “America First” trade policy, U.S. president Donald Trump has vowed to address what he says are unfair trade practices of U.S. trading partners and to reduce U.S. deficits.

The department also said Turkish exporters of steel reinforcement bars sold in the United States have received unfair government subsidies of 16.21 percent and would face anti-subsidy duties of the same margin.

According to the department, the import of steel rebar from Japan amounted to 242,336 tons worth $108.7 million in 2015 and has been on an uptrend. Imports from Turkey were around 1.47 million tons worth $674 million in the same year.

In a separate case on May 5, ITC backed the commerce department’s decision that steel products from Japan and seven other economies were sold in the United States at less than fair prices.

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