Court of International Trade Affirms Steel Pipe Import Did Not Injure U.S. Industry

The Court of International Trade, on May 29, 2015, issued an opinion affirming the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) determination that Circular Welded Carbon-Quality Steel Pipe from India, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam did not injure the U.S. steel industry.  The petitioning domestic steel industry argued two flaws in the ITC’s analysis.

First, the petitioners argued that the ITC should have considered the increase in volume of subject imports as an indicator of injury in lieu of evidence of lost sales, which the petitioners were unable to provide.  The Court rejected this argument, stating that although the Court has previously held “volume rather than anecdotal evidence may be the best indicator of lost sales,” the court has never required the ITC to implement this analysis.  The Court went on to state: [i]t is not enough for Plaintiffs simply to proffer an alternate methodology to that relied upon by the agency, even if that alternate methodology is reasonable and not inconsistent with the statute. Plaintiffs must demonstrate that the ITC could not properly rely on its selected methodology, something they have failed to do.”

Second, the plaintiffs argued that the ITC erred in its “business cycle” analysis of the domestic industry, primarily improperly analyzing the effects of recovery from the Great Recession.  In response, the Court cited the ITC’s reports which stated despite the subject products gain in market share the domestic industry’s operating income and operating margins peaked during the post-recession period of investigation (“POI’).  Although the subject products did undersell the domestic industry’s price, such underselling did not depress or suppress the prices of the domestic like product.  Thus, the Court approved the ITC’s determination that the domestic industry actually improved performance during the post-recession POI and found “the presence of subject imports, by contrast, ‘did not significantly impede the domestic industry’s progress.'”

As a result of the Court’s approval of the ITC determination, antidumping duties will not be assessed on Circular Welded Carbon-Quality Steel Pipe from India, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

This opinion is: JMC Steel Group et. al. v. United States et. al. No. 15-51 (Ct. Int’l Trade)

If you have questions about antidumping duties or investigations, please contact Frohsin & Barger at 205-933-4006 ext. 5.