ITC Vote Advances Unfair Trade Cases

Washington— The unfair trade cases filed by a coalition of domestic steel wire strand producers advanced another step recently with a favorable ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

The ITC's preliminary determination concluded that there is a reasonable indication that imports of the product from Brazil, India, Korea, Mexico and Thailand injure domestic producers of prestressed concrete steel wire strand. The product, commonly known as PC strand, is widely used for construction purposes.

The unanimous ruling in favor of the U.S. industry sets the stage for the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose preliminary antidumping duties ranging up to 122% on imports from the five countries.

The unfair trade petition, filed by the PC Strand Coalition on January 31, 2003, presented evidence that producers of the product from the named countries "dumped" their products in the U.S. at prices lower than the normal value in their own markets, and that imports from India were receiving unfair government subsidies.

"The unanimous vote of the ITC is an important step forward," said Paul C. Rosenthal, an international trade attorney with the Washington, DC law firm Collier Shannon Scott, PLLC, and lead counsel to the coalition. "We are confident that the foreign producers are dumping their product in the United States in violation of U.S. laws and international rules governed by the World Trade Organization. The case now moves to the Department of Commerce, which will investigate in detail the dumping and subsidy charges and range of margins we have alleged. This next crucial step involves contacting the foreign producers to obtain confidential information regarding their pricing practices and determining whether they are violating U.S. law by dumping product in the U.S."

A dumping investigation takes approximately one year to complete.

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