Following on from the US International Trade Commission's decision to impose anti-dumping duties on six nations exporting oil country tubular goods (OCTGs) to the USA, one the affected countries – South Korea – has vowed to take action against the ruling.

Following on from the US International Trade Commission's decision to impose anti-dumping duties on six nations exporting oil country tubular goods (OCTGs) to the USA, one the affected countries – South Korea – has vowed to take action against the ruling.

The South Koreans stand accused by the USA of dumping OCTG at unfair prices and have been handed down punitive tariffs of up to 16%.

While the ruling by the ITC is viewed as a victory for the US steel industry – and in particular US Steel – officials in South Korea argue that US steelmakers charge higher market prices than foreign-imported steel products, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

But with US OCTG imports doubling in 2013 and accounting for almost two thirds of the US market, according to the American Iron & Steel Institute, it is clear that something had to be done.

US Steel's president and CEO Mario Longhi said that his company was pleased with the ITC decision and the final vote, which saw anti-dumping orders imposed against six of the nine countries identified as responsible for dumping OCTG in the USA.

"The International Trade Commission's diligent and conscientious investigation and affirmative final vote clearly recognized that these six countries, which represent more than 90% of the unfairly traded imports that entered the U.S. market in 2013, imported OCTG using unfair methods and market distorting pricing," Longhi said.

The South Koreans have been weighing up various options including filing a complaint to a US court and trying to get the World Trade Organisation to have the US-imposed tariffs nullified.

Hyundai Hysco's Kim Byung-gyu said that he hopes the South Korean government will file a complaint with the WTO, although it seems more likely that the government will take a softer approach based on examining the likely effects of the tariffs.

In 2013, South Korea exported just under 1Mt of tubular steel into the USA.

Trade rows between the two countries are not new as anti-dumping tariffs were slapped on South Korean washing machines last year.
The USA is fighting the dumping battle on many fronts and is currently engaged in a similar row with Russian steelmakers.