A majority of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) recommended that the President impose an annual quota on imports of circular welded non-alloy steel pipe from China. The action follows the Commission's Oct. 3, 2005, determination on market disruption in the investigation, reported in this space last month.

Four of six commissioners voted to impose tariffs, while two indicated they would advise the President to seek different remedies. Two of the commissioners recommended an annual quota of 160,000 short tons for a period of three years, while two others proposed that such imports be subject to a tariff-rate quota with the within-quota quantity set at a level of 267,468 short tons in the first year of relief, and increasing by a rate of 5% in the second and 10% in the third year of relief. The proposed tariff-rate quota is based on 2004 imports from China. Imports over these quota levels will be subject to an ad valorem tariff of 25%.

The ITC was scheduled to submit its report to the President and the United States Trade Representative by Oct. 21, 2005. The report was to include the Commissioners' determination, views and remedy proposals. The President, not the ITC, will make the final decision whether to provide relief to the U.S. industry and the type and amount of relief.

In a separate ruling during mid-October, the ITC voted to extend the existing antidumping duty orders on carbon steel butt-weld pipe fittings from Brazil, China, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. The action came under a five-year “sunset” review process required by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.