Carbon steel flange manufacturers Argo, Ill.-based Weldbend Corp., and Houston-based Boltex Mfg. Co., recently announced a collective effort to push for further inspections and investigations into illegal trade practices by foreign countries on the imports of finished carbon steel flanges.

The effort is in response to possible continue unfair importing practices by Indian, Spanish and Italian manufacturers despite recent determinations from the U.S. government confirming illegal dumping in the American market.

Weldbend and Boltex have requested that U.S. Customs and Border Protection seek further information about this potentially illegal activity. American manufacturers have been increasingly injured by unfair competition occurring in the U.S. carbon steel flanges market, the two companies explained.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued antidumping orders against the imports of finished carbon steel flanges from India, Italy and Spain, as well as a countervailing duty order against the same product from India.

The orders resulted from a government determination that these imports were causing injury to the domestic flange industry by severely undercutting American market prices. Since the orders went into effect, rumors have surfaced about circumvention and transshipment activity by foreign manufacturers of finished carbon steel flanges to avoid the antidumping and/or countervailing duties.

Weldbend and Boltex have contacted the CBP regarding possible illegal activities by Indian, Spanish and Italian manufacturers and will be bringing evidence to the attention of the CBP for the purpose of creating a level playing field between domestic and foreign manufacturers.

“While we applaud the decision by the Department of Commerce to issue AD/CVD orders on the imports of finished carbon steel flanges, foreign companies should not be allowed to simply circumvent these orders,” Boltex President Frank Bernobich said. “By doing so, these foreign companies are negating the efforts of the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission to halt unfair and illegal trade practices.”

“We are furthering our investigation of Indian, Italian and Spanish producers to ensure there is no circumvention of the new AD/CVD orders. We urge U.S. authorities to support American manufacturers by conducting their own investigation and enforcing the rule of law,” said James J. Coulas Jr., owner and president of Weldbend Corp.

The companies referred to an executive order issued earlier this year by President Trump where he noted noted, “Importers that unlawfully evade antidumping and countervailing duties expose United States employers to unfair competition and deprive the Federal Government of lawful revenue.

Boltex and Weldbend said they look forward to working with the CBP to ensure the concerns expressed by the president no longer apply to imports of finished carbon steel flanges.