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Auto Industry Faces Huge New Costs on Cold-Rolled Steel

Monday, August 03, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. automakers, many of their suppliers all the way down the supply chain and others could be hit with enormous new costs on a vital production component if a trade remedy case filed by domestic steel producers this week is successful. Companies that import the affected goods directly, as well as those who purchase them from third-party importers, could see prices rise by double or more.

The petition seeks substantial antidumping and countervailing duties on cold-rolled steel flat products from some of the biggest producers in the world, including Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia and the United Kingdom (more information about the specific products targeted is available here). While foreign steel products are no stranger to AD/CV cases, the expansive scope of the new petition means that U.S. businesses in a wide range of industries could be affected. Cold-rolled steel is used in the production of automotive products, appliances and containers as well as in construction applications, industries that have finally begun to regain their footing and add jobs after a devastating economic downturn. The double- and even triple-digit AD and CV duties now being considered – as high as 176.13 percent for Korea, 265.98 percent for China and 320.45 percent for Russia – would force these companies to either pay exorbitant new taxes on cold-rolled steel from the affected countries or attempt to find other sources of this key input.

Importers, manufacturers and others may be able to mitigate their exposure to the potential AD and CV duties but need to act quickly to protect their interests. Affected companies should contact ST&R attorney Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965 to discuss their options.

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