Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Self-Initiates Anti-Circumvention Inquiries Involving Exports of Oil Country Tubular Goods Made with Chinese Substrate

For Immediate Release 
November 5, 2020
Contact: Office of Public Affairs
Phone: 202-482-3809

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the self-initiation of new inquiries into possible circumvention of anti-dumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from China.  Commerce will examine whether hot-rolled steel sheet and strip (HRS) from China is exported to Brunei and the Philippines for minor processing and then exported to the United States as OCTG. 

Under U.S. law, Commerce may conduct an anti-circumvention inquiry when evidence suggests that merchandise subject to an existing AD/CVD order is completed or assembled in third countries from parts and components imported from the country subject to the order.   

Typically, anti-circumvention inquiries are initiated in response to allegations filed by the domestic industry.  However, Commerce’s regulations provide that these inquiries may be self-initiated when Commerce determines from available information that an inquiry is warranted.  These are the eighth and ninth anti-circumvention inquiries self-initiated by Commerce based on its own monitoring of trade patterns – a new trade enforcement tool created by the Trump Administration.

If Commerce preliminarily determines that circumvention is occurring, Commerce will instruct Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on imports of OCTG completed in Brunei and the Philippines using Chinese-origin inputs.  For products found to be circumventing the AD and CVD orders, duties will be imposed on future imports, and on any unliquidated entries since the date Commerce initiated these inquiries.  

Shipments of welded OCTG from Brunei to the United States increased in value from zero during 2014-2016, to $29 million during 2017-2019.  Shipments of welded OCTG from the Philippines to the United States increased in value from $69 million to $105 million, comparing import data from the same periods.

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current administration, Commerce has initiated 29 new anti-circumvention inquiries – this is a 107 percent increase from the number of anti-circumvention initiations during the comparable period in the previous administration.

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

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