US levies steep duties on Chinese steel drill pipe

100806 US levies steep duties on Chinese steel drill pipe.jpg

WASHINGTON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The United States imposed preliminary duties of up to 429 percent on more than $100 million dollars worth of steel drill pipe from China, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

The department levied the anti-dumping duties to offset what it called unfair low pricing of the pipes, used in oil drilling.

"This is a critical decision for the U.S. industry and we're very pleased," said Roger Schagrin, an attorney for the United Steelworkers and a coalition of U.S. companies that asked for protection from Chinese imports.

Several manufacturers and exporters will see smaller duty rates. Four firms will face duties between 107 and 206 percent, while Baoshan Iron and Steel Co will have duties of 7.64 percent, and Shanxi Yida Special Steel Import and Export Co will face no duties.

The 429 percent duty applies to all other Chinese producers and exporters of the steel product.

The U.S. International Trade Commission must approve the duties before the Department of Commerce can issue a final decision, which is scheduled for December. The ITC can reject duties if it decides U.S. producers are not threatened or harmed by the low-priced imports.

The United States imported $119.2 million worth of the steel drill pipe in 2009, according to the department, and imports from China more than doubled from 2006 to 2008.

The duties are another in a series of cases that the United Steelworkers union and U.S. steel companies have brought against steel imports from China.

Previously, the Commerce Department levied a countervailing duty of 15.72 percent on steel drill pipe from China, saying the industry received subsidies from the government.

U.S. steel drill pipe producers who jointly filed the case in early 2010 included TMK IPSCO, VAM Drilling, Texas Steel Conversion and Rotary Drill Tools.

(Reporting by Emma Ashburn, editing by Anthony Boadle)

Fri Aug 6, 2010 7:47pm GMT
By Emma Ashburn


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