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article imageLatest U.S. trade complaint takes aim at Canadian welded pipes

By Karen Graham     Feb 13, 2018 in Politics
The U.S. is investigating whether manufacturers in Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea and Turkey are dumping large-diameter welded pipe into U.S. markets or are being unfairly subsidized by their governments, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced on Tuesday the agency was investigating Canada and several other countries over the export of welded carbon and alloy steel pipe larger than 16 inches (406.4 mm) in diameter to the U.S.
The pipes are used for transporting oil, natural gas, slurry, and steam and for piling, the agency said. If by March 5, the Commerce Department can find any evidence that dumping, (the practice of selling goods to U.S. companies at less than fair market value), has been occurring, and if the agency finds the imports are hurting its domestic producers, then the U.S. could impose duties.
In the agency's countervailing probe, it will look into if the companies importing pipe into the U.S. are being subsidized by the governments of the countries involved in the probe.
The complaint brought by five U.S. companies
According to CBC Canada, the investigation was launched after five U.S. companies, American Cast Iron Pipe Company of Birmingham, Ala., Berg Steel Pipe Corp. of Panama City, Fla., Dura-Bond Industries of Steelton, Pa., Skyline Steel of Parsippany, N.J., and Stupp Corporation of Baton Rouge, La. filed petitions with the agency.
Among other complaints in the petitions, the five companies also claim a 50.89-percent dumping margin on imports from Canada. The Commerce Department estimates that Canada shipped about $66 million in pipe products to the U.S. in 2016. This is a pittance compared to China with $139 million, Greece $70 million, Korea $150.3 million, and Turkey $116.1 million in pipe exports.
“We are disappointed to see another trade action targeting Canadian exporters undertaken by American producers within the Department of Commerce framework,” Global Affairs Canada spokesperson John Babcock told BNN via email.
“While the Canadian government has no role in the investigation, we are following it closely and are in contact with our exporters.”
Trump's continuing complaints about trade
When President Trump took office, one of the first things he did was to threaten to pull out of NAFTA and any other trade agreements with other countries, saying the U.S. was getting the "short-end-of-the-stick" when it came to global trade. So this action today by the Commerce Department is not unexpected.
"With an 81 percent increase in trade cases initiated since President Trump took office, this administration has made it clear that we will vigorously administer anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws," said Ross.
Today's news comes just one day after Trump complained about Canadian trade practices, threatening some sort of global excise tax. BNN noted the president gave the impression he was threatening some sort of new American import penalties, and they hit the nail on the head.
In a session that went on and on with reporters on Monday, the president complained about America's trading partners, mentioning Canada directly. "Canada does not treat us right in terms of the farming and the crossing the borders," Trump said. "We cannot continue to be taken advantage of by other countries."
More about Commerce department, welded pipe, Canada, Dumping, Trade