CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-U.S. steel producers win anti-dumping case against cheap imports

Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:00pm EDT

(Corrects paragraph one to show ruling covers six countries, not seven; paragraph two to show Saudi Arabia not included in ruling)

By Elvina Nawaguna

WASHINGTON Aug 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday voted to impose anti-dumping duties against steel pipe imports from six countries, exempting two, handing a victory to domestic producers who had complained that the cheap imports were undercutting their prices.

Countries whose steel will be subject to duties will be India, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam. The Philippines and Thailand will be exempt. Saudi Arabia was dropped from the earlier complaint.

The decision gives the U.S. Department of Commerce the green light to impose tariffs as high as 118 percent on tubular goods, and is expected to boost the domestic business.

U.S. steel companies lodged a complaint in 2013 after imports of the pipes used in the oil and gas industry surged, as foreign manufacturers sought to cash in on booming U.S. shale gas drilling.

Imports of "oil country tubular goods" (OCTG) doubled last year and accounted for nearly two-thirds of the U.S. market, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute, an industry group.

Companies filing the complaint included United States Steel Corp, pipe specialist Tenaris subsidiary Maverick Tube Corporation; Boomerang Tube; Energex Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group, Northwest Pipe Co , Tejas Tubular Products, Russia's TMK IPSCO and France's Vallourec Star.

Shortly after the ruling, U.S. Steel Corp was trading up more than 3 percent at $37.96 per share.

The companies said that OCTG imports sold cheaply using unfair government subsidies had harmed their business, dragged prices down and triggered job cuts.

Foreign manufacturers countered that they do not supply enough pipe to threaten the U.S. industry, and instead blamed the lower prices on U.S. producers increasing supply.

U.S. trade officials are working their way through as many as eight disputes involving various steel products.

Friday's decision likely will boost confidence in the domestic industry in the outcome of a current case involving steel-rolled pipes from Russia.

U.S. steel producers have accused Russia of flooding the market with cheap flat-rolled steel, and want the Commerce Department to end a trade deal that they said had failed to stop Russia from dumping. (Reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; Editing by Susan Heavey)