On February 20, 2019, Vulcan Steel Products Inc. (Vulcan) filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) seeking antidumping duties (ADD) and countervailing duties (CVD) on imports of carbon and alloy steel threaded rod (CASTR) from the People’s Republic of China, India, Taiwan and Thailand. According to Vulcan, CASTR imports from these countries are being sold at less than fair value in the United States and causing material injury and threatening further material injury to the domestic industry if ADD and CVD are not imposed.
CASTR products are certain threaded rods, bars or studs of carbon or alloy steel, having a solid, circular cross section of any diameter, in any straight length and are non-headed and threaded along greater than 25 percent of their total actual length. CASTR is normally drawn, cold-rolled, threaded and straightened, or it may be hot-rolled, and it is subject to a variety of finishes or coatings, such as plain oil finish as a temporary rust protectant, zinc coating, paint, epoxy and other similar. It can be, but is not necessarily, produced under certain ASTM, ASME and API specifications. It is used in construction to suspend electrical conduits, pipes, HVAC ductwork, sprinkler systems for fire protection and other items; it may also be used for hanging suspended ceilings and elevated conveyor belts, for joint restraint systems for underground piping, in structural tie downs in earthquake- and hurricane-restraint systems for roofing, and as headless screws in general fastener applications or for bolting pipe joints together. Vulcan states that CASTR enters the United States under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 7318.15.5051, 7318.15.5056, 7318.15.5090, 7318.15.2095 and 7318.19.0000.
According to Vulcan, from December 2017 to November 2018, U.S. CASTR imports totaled 42.5 percent from China, 25.2 percent from India, 15.1 percent from Taiwan and 4.1 percent from Thailand. Vulcan claims that imports of CASTR from these countries increased 18.6 percent from 2016 to 2017 and that imports for 2018 represented a 18.8 percent increase over 2017. As a result, Vulcan claims that dumped and subsidized CASTR imports are having significant, negative price effects that are causing lost sales and revenue to the domestic industry.
The petition lists a large number of foreign producers and exporters that shipped CASTR products to the United States at allegedly dumped and/or subsidized prices from these countries as well as the U.S. importers of those products.
Commerce will determine by March 12, 2019, whether to formally initiate the investigations and, if Commerce does, the Commission will decide within 25 days after that whether there is a reasonable indication of existing material injury or threat of material injury to the domestic CASTR industry that will require continuation of the investigation.