News of Note
U.S. Pipe Industry Disappointed By Commerce's Preliminary Dumping Findings
Brian McGill and Richard Lutz
On February 19, the Department of Commerce released its preliminary antidumping findings regarding imports of certain oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from India, Korea, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam. The overall results were disappointing for the domestic pipe industry. Commerce reported that Korea accounted for the majority of the $1.5 billion of pipe imports under investigation, but it made a preliminary determination that the Korean producers were not dumping. Significant producers in India, Taiwan, and Turkey were also assigned preliminary dumping margins of zero.
In an interview with the Trade & Manufacturing Alert, industry expert Paul Vivian stated that U.S. producers were particularly disappointed by these results because they made substantial new investments in OCTG production capacity following the successful 2010 trade case against unfair OCTG imports from China. Mr. Vivian stated that U.S. producers believe that capacity is underutilized due to the high level of imports. Indeed, the International Trade Commission reported in August 2013 that the domestic OCTG industry's capital expenditures totaled $1.6 billion during 2010-2012. Mr. Vivian emphasized that Commerce's findings were only preliminary, and that Commerce's final determinations may be better for the U.S. industry after a closer examination and on-site verification. Other sources close to the petitioning companies confirmed that the final determinations could be significantly different because of major unresolved factual and legal issues in the investigations.