Feds to impose tariffs of up to 59 percent on steel tubing

A worker watches loading of steel plate products at Posco steel mill in Pohang, south of Seoul, South Korea in 2011. The International Trade Commission will vote next month on tariffs on imports of steel tubing from steel tubing from Korea, Mexico and Turkey.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is looking at slapping tariffs of up to 59 percent on heavy walled structural tubing steel from Korea, Mexico and Turkey.

U.S. steelmakers had sought tariffs on the steel products that are used in oil exploration and energy production, and often shaped from flat-rolled metal from Northwest Indiana steel mills.

They won anti-dumping duties that range between 2.34 percent and 35.66 percent on imports from various steelmakers from Korea, Mexico and Turkey. Those are meant to offset the difference between what the foreign steel companies sold steel for in their home countries and the cut-rate discount they sold it for in the United States.

The Turkish steel company Ozdemir avoided anti-dumping tariffs, but got hit with a 15.08 percent countervailing duty.

The U.S. Department of Commerce imposed countervailing duties between 15.08 and 23.37 percent on steel from Turkey. The countervailing tariffs are meant to offset subsidies steelmakers got from the Turkish government. The idea is to level the playing field, since the United States does not offer such subsidies to its steelmakers.

Turkey's MMZ steelmaker got countervailing and anti-dumping duties that added up to 59 percent.

Congressman Pete Visclosky had testified in favor of the tariffs, which he's stridently supported to protect Northwest Indiana's steel industry.

"American steelworkers and steel companies make the best steel in the world, more efficiently than anyone else," he said. "We should be using that steel in our infrastructure and transportation systems.  We should be using that steel to build our nation." 

The final duties will come up for a vote before the International Trade Commission on August 17, steel industry lobbyist Tamara Browne said.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.