The U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously to issue a countervailing duty order and an antidumping duty order on imports of welded stainless pressure pipe from China.

Four U.S. producers, Bristol Metals L.L.C.,Felker Brothers Corp.,Outokumpu Stainless Pipe Inc.,Marcegaglia USA Inc., and the United Steelworkers (USW) applauded the results of today’s unanimous affirmative final injury vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission with regard to the antidumping and countervailing duty case on imports of  welded austenitic stainless steel pressure pipe from China.

Mike Boling, president of Bristol Metals L.L.C. said, “Today’s decision is welcome and affirms what we have said for some time and that is the Chinese government subsidized a massive expansion of both their stainless flat rolled and pipe capacity which resulted in unfair trade practices that injured our company and workers. This decision sends a strong signal that our government is committed to enforcing the trade laws to allow this industry the ability to continue to compete in the market here and abroad and most importantly ensures that our workers are able to stay on the job.”

The products subject to the petition are primarily ASTM A-312 or A-778 specifications using grade 304 or 316 stainless sheet. They are used as a conduit for liquids or gases under high pressure in the chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food processing, energy, brewery, automotive and paper industries.

Imports from China increased from 13,993 tons in 2005 to 31,766 tons in 2007 with a value of $160 million. They are believed to have taken approximately 30 percent of the U.S. market. The imports declined to less than 7,000 tons in 2008 after the filing of the antidumping and countervailing duty petitions on January 30, 2008.

David Cornelius, president of Marcegagalia USA said, “In these challenging economic times, this decision reaffirms our support for the trade laws and also sends a strong message throughout the global trade arena that the U.S. will enforce its trade laws.”

The DOC made final subsidy and dumping determinations in January, 2007 with margins ranging to 55 % for dumping and 298 % for subsidies.

Leo W. Gerard, USW president, said, “Today’s determination by the Commission against illegal stainless steel pipe imports from China is desperately needed to preserve American family supportive jobs. The USW and the companies who employ our members will continue to vigorously battle these Chinese unfair trade practices.”  Gerard added,  “We urge Congress and the White House to take further action against Chinese unfair trade practices, like currency manipulation.”

Roger B. Schagrin, a Washington, D.C., trade attorney, was counsel to the petitioners.  “This is my fourth case on pipe and tube imports from China in the past year,” he said. “In 2008, 3.1 million tons of steel pipe and tube entered from China, almost two-thirds of total steel imports from China. We have now obtained orders against imports of circular welded steel pipe, welded small diameter line pipe, light-walled rectangular tubing from China and now stainless steel pipe. The DOC and ITC are doing their jobs in enforcing the trade laws and American industry and workers.”