The U.S. International Trade Commission voted on Monday to revoke 10-year-old anti-dumping duties on some steel products from Japan and Italy, but kept them in place for South Korea, Indonesia and India.
Kaoru Okamoto, chairman of the Japan Steel Information Center, said Japanese producers hope the panel's 4-2 vote to lift double-digit duties on cut-to-length carbon-quality steel plate from Japan will be the first of many to come.
"The Japanese steel industry hopes that the stance exemplified by this decision will be maintained in future sunset reviews and that existing antidumping measures on Japanese steel products, many of which have been in place for many years, will be revoked as soon as possible," he said.
U.S. steel companies filed a spate of anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases in the late 1990s after the Asian financial crisis caused demand to collapse in the region and exports to the United States to surge.
The thick plate steel at issue is used in shipbuilding and other heavy-duty applications like offshore oil drilling platforms, said Chris Woods, an attorney for Japanese industry with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
Japanese steel mills made the case to the International Trade Commission that their primary customers are in Asia, where the shipbuilding industry is concentrated, Woods said.
If the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission find proof of unfair trade practices that are hurting U.S. producers or threatening them with injury, duties are imposed.
But global trade rules require the United States and other members to review anti-dumping or countervailing duty orders every five years to determine if they are still needed.