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US steelmakers to file charges against Chinese rivals for avoiding import duties

ArcelorMittal USA Inc., Nucor Corp., AK Steel Holding Corp. and U.S. Steel Corp. are planning on filing charges against their Chinese competitors, alleging that the latter avoided American import duties by diverting their steel shipments to Vietnam, Reuters reported Sept. 22.

After preliminary findings showed that stainless steel sheet and strip imports from China were being dumped in the U.S. market at below fair value, the U.S. Commerce Department last week placed preliminary anti-dumping duties of 63.86% to 76.64% on the steel imports.

According to the petition to the Commerce Department, Chinese producers "immediately" sent their shipments to Vietnam for corrosion resistance modification and then sent them to the U.S. under Vietnam's lower tariff rates.

The four producers are asking the Commerce Department to investigate the issue and suspend imports of corrosion-resistant steel and cold-rolled steel from Vietnam, according to the report, citing a statement from Kelley Drye & Warren, the law firm representing ArcelorMittal.

"This type of behavior is becoming more frequent, so it is important that the U.S. government send a strong message that circumvention of our trade laws will not be tolerated," the law firm added.