Steel concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) from Japan, Taiwan and Turkey have materially injured the US rebar industry, according to the US International Trade Commission.

An announcement from the US-based Wiley Rein’s international trade practice claims that the ITC has ‘preliminarily determined’ that there is ‘a reasonable indication’ that these countries’ actions are injurious to the US steel industry’s health.

“This ruling confirms the injurious effects that Japanese, Taiwanese and Turkish imports of rebar are having on the US industry,” said Alan H Price, chair of Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice and lead counsel to the Rebar Trade Action Coalition (RTAC). “Producers in each of these countries are using unfair pricing practices to steal market share from domestic producers,” he said, adding that, as a result, the domestic rebar industry has been forced ‘to lower prices and has experienced significant declines in profitability’.

The ITC determination is in response to a 20 September 2016 petition filed by RTAC, which is a coalition of US rebar producers, alleging that unfairly dumped rebar from Japan, Taiwan and Turkey, and subsidised rebar from Turkey are not only injuring the US industry, but threatening it with additional injury.

According to Wiley Rein, the ITC’s affirmative preliminary injury determination paves the way for the US Department of Commerce to continue moving forward with its investigations. “Commerce is expected to issue preliminary anti-dumping and countervailing duty determinations no later than the first half of next year,” said Wiley Rein. “If Commerce reaches an affirmative preliminary determination in these cases, provisional anti-dumping and countervailing duties will be collected based on the preliminary margins calculated,” said the company.

Between 2013 and 2015, rebar imports from Japan, Taiwan and Turkey increased 160.4%. In 2013 the tonnage was 742.3kt (short tons) and this increased to 1mt in 2014 and 1.9Mt in 2015. Imports have continued to remain strong in 2016, claims Wiley Rein, and are on the rise.