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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Commerce made a final finding that seven foreign producers dumped certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate in the U.S. market, allowing it to impose duties ranging from 3.62 percent to 148 percent, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.
The determinations of dumping, or selling a product below its fair price, apply to imports of CTL plate from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, Ross said.
In addition, there was a final finding that South Korean imports were subsidized, leading to a countervailing duty of 4.31 percent being slapped on those products, he said at a department event.
"A healthy steel industry is critical to our economy and manufacturing base, yet our steel industry today is under assault from foreign producers that dump and subsidize their exports," Ross told the audience.
In 2015, imports of CTL plate from the seven producers totaled $732 million, with those from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and Taiwan valued at an estimated $14.2 million, $19.8 million, $179 million, $196.2 million, $37 million, $54.9 million, $210 million and $21 million, respectively, department figures show. (bit.ly/2mSZM1Z)
Cut-to-length steel is used in a wide range of applications, including buildings and bridgework; agricultural, construction and mining equipment; machine parts and tooling; ships, rail cars, tankers and barges; and large-diameter pipe.
The finding followed an investigation prompted by a petition from Nucor Corp and U.S. subsidiaries of ArcelorMittal SA and SSAB AB.
For Austrian producers and exporters, dumping duties on the Voestalpine group and all others were set at 53.72 percent.
They were 5.4 percent for Industeel Belgium, 51.78 percent for the NLMK Belgium group and 5.4 percent for all other Belgium producers and exporters.
Among French manufacturers and exporters, duty rates were set at 148.02 percent for Industeel France and 8.62 percent for Dillinger France and all others.
In Germany, duties were set at 5.38 percent for AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke, 22.90 percent for the Salzgitter group and 21.03 percent for all other exporters and producers.
A spokesman for Salzgitter confirmed the company was facing duties, saying the decision to impose the duties and the level of them were incomprehensible.
In Italy, the department set anti-dumping duty rates of 6.08 percent for Officine Tecnosider, 22.19 percent for Marcegaglia SpA and NLMK Verona SpA and 6.08 percent for all other producers and exporters.
Among Japanese producers and exporters, Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd was hit with a duty rate of 14.79 percent. A rate of 48.67 percent was imposed on JFE Steel Corp and Shimabun Corp, and for all others it was set at 14.79 percent.
Taiwanese companies Shang Chen Steel Co Ltd and China Steel Corp had anti-dumping duties of 3.62 percent and 6.95 percent, respectively, imposed on them. The rate for other producers and exporters was set at 5.29 percent.
For South Korea, the department imposed an anti-dumping duty of 7.39 percent on POSCO, as well as a countervailing duty of 4.31 percent to account for subsidies. The same rates apply to all other producers and exporters.
The findings allow the department to ask U.S. Customs authorities to collect cash deposits from exporters based on those rates.
On March 3, in a decision stemming from the same investigation, the U.S. International Trade Commission said it had made a final finding that U.S. industry was being harmed by the dumping and subsidization of imports of carbon and alloy steel CTL plate from China. That allows for the final imposition of duties by the Commerce Department on China's producers and exporters of the plate.
Reporting by Eric Walsh; Additional reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Dan Grebler and Peter Cooney