On September 30, 2013, AK Steel Corporation, a US steel company, submitted a petition to the United States Department of Commerce (“USDOC”) to initiate a countervailing duty investigation, by alleging that the Korean government had provided subsidies on the non-oriented electrical steel, manufactured and exported to the United States by POSCO and Daewoo International. AK Steel Corporation alleged that it was injured by the subsidies and therefore requested the USDOC to impose a duty to countervail the subsidies.
On November 14, 2013, the USDOC initiated the countervailing duty investigation on the Korean government and the industries. In order to determine whether the Korean government had provided subsidies to the industries, the USDOC has sent several questionnaires to examine the 18 programs of the Korean government, including the tax credit program.
Yoon & Yang, representing the Korean government, has proactively advised the government and prepared the responses to the questionnaires. As a result, on March 25, 2014, the USDOC made the preliminary decision not to impose the countervailing duty on the Korean industries.
After the preliminary decision, the USDOC has sent the examiners to Korea to verify the responses in the on- site verification. Yoon & Yang effectively assisted the Korean government in the on-site verification as well. The USDOC finally rejected the petition made by AK Steel Corporation and issued the final decision not to impose the countervailing duty on the non-oriented electrical steel from Korea. The final countervailing duty margin calculated by the USDOC was 0.65%, which is not enough, de minimis, to impose the duty.
After the final decision by the USDOC, the Korean industries have become able to export the non-oriented electrical steel to the United States without additional burden on the countervailing duty. The joint efforts made by the Korean government, the industries, and Yoon & Yang would contribute to the strengthening of competitiveness of the Korean steel industry by securing free competition in the market.