The U.S. government recently decided to no longer collect antidumping duties on imports of stainless steel sheet and strip in coils (SSSSC) from Germany, Italy and Mexico. This action follows from a recent vote of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in connection with a “sunset review” of existing antidumping duty orders on imports of SSSSC from these three countries, as well as from Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

The ITC is required to conduct a sunset review once every five years. During the recent sunset review, the ITC found that revocation of the antidumping duty orders on imports of SSSSC from Germany, Italy and Mexico would not be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the U.S. industry producing SSSSC. As a result, antidumping duty orders on imports from Germany, Italy and Mexico will be lifted, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will refund any cash deposits on estimated antidumping duties, for any unliquidated entries of imports of SSSSC from those countries.

Despite the revocation of the orders on SSSSC from Germany, Italy and Mexico, the ITC found that revocation of the orders on imports from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the U.S. industry. As a result, the existing antidumping duty orders on SSSSC from Japan, Korea and Taiwan will stay in place for at least five more years.

The ITC has not yet released an opinion explaining its split decision, but we believe that the agency was probably influenced by the position of ThyssenKrupp, a leading global stainless steel producer. ThyssenKrupp has major facilities in Germany, Italy and Mexico, but not the other three countries under review. ThyssenKrupp is also ramping up production on a new stainless steel mill in the United States. Therefore, ThyssenKrupp argued that if the antidumping duty orders on imports from Germany, Italy and Mexico were lifted, they would not take advantage of the lower duties by importing more from those countries, because they are already beginning to supply the U.S. market from their new U.S. mill.