On September 30, the Dept. of Commerce announced the preliminary find that Mexican, Chinese and Korean producers/exporters have sold subject merchandise in the U.S. market at less than fair value, with margins ranging from 14.93% to 31.34% for Mexico, a margin of 73.17% for the PRC, and margins ranging from 1.19% (de minimis) to 6.49% for Korea.

Upon the publication of the preliminary determinations in the Federal Register, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin to suspend liquidation of entries of subject merchandise and collect a bond or cash deposit based on the margins above de minimis in the Department's preliminary determinations.

The Department will consider all submitted comments from interested parties along with record evidence before making its final determinations on or about December 13, 2004, for the PRC, and February 18, 2005, for Mexico and Korea.

If the Department makes final affirmative determinations, and the U.S. International Trade Commission makes final affirmative determinations that imports materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry, the Department will issue antidumping duty orders and instruct Customs to collect cash deposits on imports of subject merchandise.

The petitions requesting these investigations were filed on March 3, 2004, by American Steel Pipe Division of ACIPCO (Alabama), IPSCO Tubulars, Inc. (Iowa), Lone Star Steel Company (Texas), Maverick Tube Corporation (Missouri), Northwest Pipe Company (Oregon), and the Stupp Corporation (Louisiana).

The products covered by these investigations are welded carbon steel pipe of a kind used for oil and gas pipelines, not more than 16 inches in diameter. Excluded from the proceeding are line pipe in nominal pipe size outer diameter of 1-1/4 inch and less.