Steel-Wire Manufacturers Claim Importers Evade Antidumping Duties

Feb. 3, 2010
Coalition says dodgers cost U.S. revenue and jobs

A new coalition of U.S. manufacturers is taking on the task of monitoring compliance by companies that hit with antidumping orders. The Coalition for Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders claims it has evidence that some companies are deliberately evading the duties, and costing the U.S. Treasury at least $84 million.

The information has been presented to members of Congress, the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a petition to strengthen enforcement of existing antidumping orders.

The Coalition consists of several U.S. manufacturers of steel wire products, including steel nails, uncovered innerspring units, steel wire garment hangers, and carbon steel threaded rod. Producers of each of product category separately charged importers of those products with unfair trade, and won relief from Commerce the International Trade Commission in the form of import duties. Some of those duties range up to 234%.

Also, the group claims that more than 275 jobs have been lost at companies that manufacture innersprings and hangers, and that more jobs are threatened because of groups avoiding antidumping duties.

The Coalition further claims it has “compelling evidence” that details how certain foreign manufacturers evade duties. Some schemes involve transshipments through third countries and false designations of a product’s country of origin. Other cases feature slight modifications to products, or false labels of the originating country.

Notably, the Coalition claims there is “growing evidence” that these evasion schemes are being used in industries other than steel wire manufacturing.

"These schemes are blatant and purposeful," stated Mid Continent Nail president David Libla, a Coalition member. "Not only are they clear evidence of attempts to maintain an unfair advantage in the marketplace, they're also costing taxpayers millions of dollars and reducing job opportunities in this country. We appreciate the efforts of both Congress and the Executive Branch to consider this information and determine how best to enforce these existing orders."