Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Final Rulings in Self-Initiated Circumvention Inquiries Regarding Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products

For Immediate Release
July 7, 2020
Contact: ITA Office of Public Affairs 
Phone: 202-482-3809

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced two affirmative final circumvention rulings involving imports of certain corrosion-resistant steel products (CORE) made with hot-rolled steel and/or cold-rolled steel substrate (substrate) from the People’s Republic of China (China). Specifically, Commerce determined that Chinese substrate shipped to Costa Rica and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for minor processing, and then exported to the United States as CORE, is circumventing the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on CORE from China. Commerce also announced a negative circumvention ruling regarding CORE exported from Guatemala, finding that CORE from Guatemala was not made with Chinese substrate.

As a result of these affirmative final circumvention rulings, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to continue to collect AD and CVD cash deposits on imports of CORE completed in Costa Rica and the UAE using Chinese-origin substrate – as has been done since Commerce’s preliminary determinations in February 2020. The applicable AD cash deposit rates are as high as 199.43 percent, which is the rate established for the China-wide entity from the underlying investigation. Additionally, the applicable CVD cash deposit rates are as high as 39.05 percent, which is the rate established for all other Chinese producers and/or exporters from the underlying investigation. Duties may apply to any unliquidated entries since August 12, 2019 (the date on which Commerce self-initiated these circumvention inquiries).

CORE produced by certain exporters and producers in Costa Rica and the UAE who cooperated with Commerce’s circumvention inquiries may be eligible to be imported free of AD/CVD cash deposits, provided that the importer and exporter certify that the CORE is not produced with Chinese substrate. Additional details will be published in the Federal Register.  

Today’s rulings stem from Commerce’s August 2019 decision to self-initiate these circumvention inquiries. This was the first time that Commerce had self-initiated circumvention inquiries based on its own monitoring of trade patterns, and the first self-initiation of multi-country circumvention inquiries. Four other self-initiated circumvention inquiries remain pending, including three pertaining to CORE.

Under U.S. law, circumvention exists when imported merchandise is of the same class or kind as any merchandise produced in a foreign country that is subject to an AD/CVD order; it is completed or assembled in a third country from parts and components from the country subject to the AD/CVD order; the process of completion or assembly in the third country is minor or insignificant; and a significant portion of the total value of the imported merchandise is attributable to the country subject to the AD/CVD order.

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump administration. To date, the administration has issued 53 preliminary or final affirmative determinations in anti-circumvention inquiries – a 194 percent increase from the number of such determinations made during the comparable period in the previous administration. 

Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade rules and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international rules and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.