US Steel Companies Ruled Against
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Circular seamless stainless pipes imported from Japan are not hurting American steel companies, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Thursday.
In a 4-2 decision, the panel dismissed the complaint of six U.S. steelmakers and the United Steelworkers of America.
Circular seamless stainless pipes are used in nuclear and conventional power plants, stock lines for petrochemical facilities, pharmaceutical production lines and food processing equipment.
Hidenori Tazawa, chairman of the Japan Steel Information Center, said of the ruling: ``It was clear from the facts that U.S. mills have been unable to meet the demand for this product, and that imports are essential.″
United Steelworkers spokesman Gary Hubbard said the decision demonstrates why strong laws are needed to protect American companies from unfair competition.
According to the petition, Japanese exports of seamless stainless pipes to the United States surged 43 percent from 1996 to 1998 while the average U.S. customs value of these imports on the basis of volume declined 30 percent.
Thursday’s decision follows a March ruling by the Commerce Department that the steel is sold in the United States at less than fair market value. Both the Commerce Department and ITC must rule against a foreign producer before penalties are imposed.
Eighteen companies produce circular seamless stainless steel hollow products at facilities in Arkansas, California, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.
The complaint was filed by: Altx, Inc., American Extruded Products, DMV Stainless USA Inc., Pennsylvania Extruded Tube Co., Salem Tube, Inc., Sandvik Steel Co., International Extruded Products LLC and the United Steelworkers of America.
On the Net: http://www.usitc.gov