SHANGHAI, May 15 (SMM) – The US Department of Commerce announced Tuesday that it has self-initiated an inquiry to determine if imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from Vietnam are circumventing existing US antidumping and countervailing duties on these products from China.
The commerce department is also self-initiating a concurrent scope inquiry to determine if stainless sheet and strip from Vietnam is within the scope of the AD/CVD orders on stainless sheet and strip from China.
The possible circumvention involves stainless steel flat-rolled products from China that are completed in Vietnam and then exported to the US.
If circumvention is preliminarily determined to be occurring, the commerce department will instruct US Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation and begin collecting cash deposits on imports of stainless sheet and strip completed in Vietnam using Chinese-origin stainless steel flat-rolled inputs and/or Chinese-origin stainless sheet and strip further processed in Vietnam, the commerce department said.
For products found to be circumventing the AD and CVD orders, or subject to their scope, duties will be imposed on future imports and on any unliquidated entries from the date of initiation of the circumvention inquiry, it added.
Vietnam is one of the five biggest buyers of Chinese stainless steel plates and coils. SMM data showed that China’s exports of such materials to Vietnam accounted for 7.3% of the total exports in 2019, while exports to the US accounted for only 0.3%. In 2018, the ratio for exports to Vietnam stood at 9.4%, compared to 0.24% for exports to the US.
In early 2017, the US commerce department finally determined that imports of stainless steel sheet and strip (stainless sheet and strip) from China was being, or was likely to be, sold in the US at less than fair value, and imposed AD duties ranging from 63.86%-76.64% and subsidy rates of 75.6%-190.71%.
Shipments of stainless sheet and strip from Vietnam to the US increased in value by $122 million, or 180.4% comparing import data from the 40-month periods before and after the initiations of the original AD/CVD investigations on Chinese stainless sheet and strip on March 3, 2016, according to the commerce department.