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  ANTIDUMPING & COUNTERVAILING DUTY INVESTIGATIONS  

Chinastandard steel fastenersTaiwan   Certain Standard Steel Fasteners From China & Taiwan  

Investigation History

Litigation:

Nucor Fastener Division v. US - Ct. Int'l Trade No. 09-531: Complaint NEW
Nucor Fastener Division v. US - Ct. Int'l Trade No. 09-534: Complaint NEW


FAQs
What are antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duties?

Why do I need to file a Quantity and Value Questionnaire?

Why do I need to file a Separate Rates Application?


Scope    

The merchandise covered by the investigations consists of certain standard nuts, standard bolts, and standard cap screws, of steel other than stainless steel. Standard nuts, standard bolts, and standard cap screws covered by the investigations may have a variety of finishes, including but not limited to coating in paint, phosphates, and zinc. Standard bolts and standard cap screws covered by the investigations have a shank or thread with an actual and/or nominal diameter between 6 millimeters and 32 millimeters (inclusive). Standard bolts and standard cap screws covered by the investigations also possess a circular or hexagonal head, the surface of which may be flat or rounded (also known as dome-shaped or button-headed). Standard bolts covered by the investigations may have an attached washer face or the equivalent (e.g., a flanged head or chamfered corners on the underside of a fastener with a hexagonal-shaped head). Standard cap screws covered by the investigations have a permanently-attached washer face. Standard nuts are covered by the investigations if they are suitable for attachment to bolts and/or cap screws covered by the investigations.

Standard bolts, standard cap screws, and standard nuts are covered by the investigations whether imported alone, attached to other subject and/or non-subject merchandise (e.g., tension control assemblies), or unattached and in combination with other subject merchandise and/or non-subject merchandise.

Standard nuts, standard bolts, and standard cap screws meet the requirements of one or more nationally recognized consensus industry standard specifications (including but not limited to those referenced below). Subject merchandise is typically certified to the specifications published by one or more consensus standards organizations such as the following: the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Industrial Fasteners Institute. Common specifications to which subject merchandise is certified include, but are not limited to: ASTM A194, ASTM A307, ASTM A325, ASTM A325M, ASTM A354, ASTM A449, ASTM A490, ASTM A563, ASTM F568M, ASTM F1852, ASTM F2280, SAE J429, SAE J1199, ISO 898-1, ISO 898-2, ISO 4759-1, ISO 8992, and comparable foreign and domestic specifications (including, but not limited to, metric versions of specifications such as those listed above).

Excluded from the scope of the investigations are bolts, cap screws, and nuts produced for an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part number specific to any automobile as defined in 49 U.S.C. Section 32901(a)(3), any work truck as defined in 49 U.S.C. Section 32901(a) (19), or any medium-duty passenger vehicle as defined in 40 C.F.R. Section 86.1803-01 (2009).  

Also excluded from the scope of the investigations are bolts, cap screws, and nuts produced for an OEM part number specific to any aircraft as defined in 14 C.F.R. Section 1.1 (2009).

Also excluded from the scope of the investigations are track bolts. Track bolts have a circular, rounded head and a shank which, immediately beneath the head, possesses an oval or elliptical shape, such that the non-round shape would restrict rotational movement of the bolt. Also excluded from the scope of the investigations are carriage bolts. Carriage bolts have a circular, rounded head and a shank which, immediately beneath the head, possesses a non-round shape (e.g., square, finned), such that the non-round shape would restrict rotational movement of the bolt. Also excluded from the scope of the investigations are socket screws. Socket screws have a head with a recessed cavity into which a shaped bit may be inserted to turn and drive the fastener.

Unless explicitly excluded from the scope of the investigations, bolts, cap screws, and nuts meeting the description of subject merchandise are covered by the investigations.

Merchandise covered by the investigations is classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings: 7318.15.2030, 7318.15.2055, 7318.15.2065, 7318.15.8065, 7318.15.8085, and 7318.16.0085. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under the investigations is dispositive.

 
Nucor Fastener Division Appeals the No-Injury Decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Refusal to Investigate Subsidies Provided by Alleged Currency Manipulation by the U.S. Department of Commerce
On December 15, 2009, Nucor Fastener Division filed complaints against the United States in the U.S. Court of International Trade.  In their complaints, Nucor Fastener Division challenges several aspects of the no-injury determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission (case 09-531), and the determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce not to investigate subsidies allegedly provided by alleged currency manipulation.  The case against the Department of Commerce will likely be stayed pending the outcome of the case against the International Trade Commission.  If this litigation is similar to the last case Nucor Fastener Division's lawyers brought on behalf of a different client for a negative injury finding by the International Trade Commission, the litigation could last for a few years.

The practical effect of the litigation is business as usual until there is some major development in the litigation and the investigation resumes.  That would require a court-ordered remand for the ITC to reconsider its 6-0 vote, a new vote of at least 3-3 affirmative injury, a final decision by the courts after appeals, and then a resumption of the investigation.  Because the investigation ended prior to the preliminary determination and prior to any requirement of a bond or cash deposits for estimated antidumping duties, there will be no possibility of antidumping or countervailing duty liabilty -- or retroactive liability -- unless Nucor Fastener Division is successful in its litigation and the Department of Commerce resumes the investigation.


ITC No Injury Vote Terminates Investigations Into Standard Steel Fasteners from China and Taiwan
On November 6, 2009, the International Trade Commission voted 6-0 that Nucor Fastener Division and other U.S. producers of standard steel fasteners are not materially injured by imports from China and Taiwan.  Under U.S. law, "If the Commission finds that imports of the subject merchandise are negligible or otherwise makes a negative determination under this paragraph, the investigation shall be terminated."

In the Commission Report, the ITC found that all fasteners should be grouped together -- low-grade, high-grade, and all other non-excluded fasteners.  This finding was seen as essential for Nucor's petition.  See p.17 of the Commission Report.


It appears that one of the primary factors sinking Nucor's petition was increasing prices.  Nucor simply didn't have the numbers to support an injury ruling.  The ITC stated, "Based on the questionnaire data submitted in these investigations, quarterly delivered selling prices of pricing products 1 to 4 produced domestically were generally at or above their initial period prices by the end of the period examined, including for the two pricing products that accounted for the highest volume of sales by the domestic industry . . . .  [Thus,] despite underselling of the domestic like product by subject imports during the period examined, we do not find that domestic prices were depressed to a significant degree, or that there has been significant price suppression by reason of the subject imports. "  See p.34 of the Commission Report.

Accordingly, you can all go back to the way things were . . . .  Until Nucor Fastener Division tries again.  Petitions that fail at the preliminary injury vote can come back a few months or a year or two later.  Petitioners have suffered a similar defeats with prior petitions, but refiled the petition and successfully obtained antidumping duty orders.  A petition filed 2 years ago against magazine paper from China and Indonesia failed at the final injury vote, but was recently refiled and a new investigation is underway. 

Nucor may attempt litigation to overturn the International Trade Commission no-injury decision, or it may start over, trimming low-grade fasteners from the scope and refile the petition focusing on medium- and high-grade fasteners.  So learn from this experience, and plan for the future now.



Department of Commerce extends deadline for filing Q&V responses to November 19, 2009:
  Extension Notice

Fasteners Antidumping & Countervailing Duty Investigations Initiated!  U.S. Department of Commerce finds initial dumping margins at 66.87% to 205.97 % for China and 51.39% to 114.41% for Taiwan.                                                     中文


On October 14, 2009, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its initiation of the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into standard steel fasteners from China and Taiwan.   The period of time that will be investigated in the antidumping duty investigation is July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009 .  The Department of Commerce calculated initial dumping margins based upon information contained in Nucor's petition, at 66.87% to 205.97% for China, and 51.39% to 114.14% for Taiwan.  That would mean additional import duties of 66.87% to 205.97% and 51.39% to 114.41% on standard steel fasteners from China and Taiwan, respectively.

Dumping occurs when a foreign company sells a product in the United States at less than normal value. Subsidies are financial assistance from foreign governments that benefit the production, manufacture, or exportation of goods.

Comments on the appropriateness of the scope of the investigation (see Scope, left) must be filed by November 2, 2009.  The scope now specifically excludes OEM auto and aerospace fasteners and track bolts, anchor bolts, and socket screws. Comments on what the most important product characteristics are must be filed by October 27, 2009, with rebuttal comments due November 3, 2009.

Mandatory respondents for the antidumping duty investigation of fasteners from China will be selected based on information received in Quantity and Value questionnaires.  Mandatory respondents for the antidumping duty investigation of fasteners from Taiwan will be selected based upon import data provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for imports in HTSUS nos. 7318.15.2030, 7318.15.2055, 7318.15.2065, 7318.15.8065, 7318.15.8085, and 7318.16.0085.

Importers, consumer groups, and industrial users all can have a direct voice in the investigation by submitting relevant information and argument throughout the investigation.    For information on how to present comments and argument to the Department of Commerce, please contact us at info@importerhelp.com

IMPORTERS - TWO ACTIONS TO TAKE NOW!  

First:  contact your Chinese suppliers to encourage them to file a response to the Department of Commerce QUANTITY & VALUE QUESTIONNAIRE.
 The Q&V responses are due on November 19, 2009.  All exporters must file a response or they are deemed uncooperative.  Uncooperative parties are assigned the "adverse facts available rate," which is always the highest duty rate.  This means they will be locked out of the US Market and you may be liable for a shocking increase in import duties (think bankrupcty -- no exaggeration).  

Second:  contact your Chinese suppliers to encourage them to file a SEPARATE RATES APPLICATION in the antidumping duty investigation. 
They are due on December 21, 2009, but can be rejected if they are less than perfect.  Chinese exporters should contact a US international trade attorney to help them file the separate rates application properly.  Separate rates applications should be sent in early so there is time to correct any deficiencies.  If they do not file a separate rates application, your suppliers will be deemed to be controlled by the Chinese government and assigned a high, China-wide antidumping duty rate.  As a result, you could be subject to a shocking increase in import duties (think bankruptcy), and they could be locked out of the US market!


Standard Steel Fasteners From China Under Attack by U.S. Fastener Industry:  Nucor Fastener Division files antidumping duty & countervailing duty petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission.               printable version 中文

On September 23, 2009, Nucor Fastener Division filed petitions for relief from allegedly unfairly traded standard steel fasteners from China.  It alleges that standard steel fastener products from China are being sold at less than their fair value (dumped), and that the Government of the Peopleďż˝s Republic of China is unfairly subsidizing the production and export of standard steel fastener products from China.

Dumping occurs when a foreign company sells a product in the United States at less than its normal value.  Subsidies are financial assistance from foreign governments that benefit the production, manufacture, or exportation of goods. 

The petition alleges that standard steel fastener products from China are being dumped at a rates ranging from 68.70% to 208.70%, with an average of 145.05%; and dumping rates for Taiwan at 73.88%.  The countervailing duty petition also alleges that the Chinese government is providing subsidies to Chinese producers and exporters of standard steel fastener products through nearly 40 subsidy programs, including intentional undervaluation of Chinese currency.  Any antidumping or countervailing duties will impose additional import duty liabilities on importers of standard steel fastener products covered by the investigation.

Importers, producers, and exporters can participate in the evaluation by the U.S. International Trade Commission of whether standard steel fastener imports are injuring the U.S. domestic standard steel fastener industry by filling out and sending in a questionnaire response about production, importation, and sales of standard steel fasteners.

Further, to obtain a more favorable antidumping duty rate, exporters from China must file separate rate applications by approximately December 15, 2009, with the U.S. Department of Commerce.  (The exact date will be 60 days after the Department of Commerce publishes its Notice of Initiation of the Investigations in the Federal Register - on about October 15, 2009.)  The Department of Commerce presumes that all producers and exporters in China are controlled by the Chinese government unless the exporter can prove that it is not controlled by the Chinese government.  To prove that it is not controlled by the Chinese government, an exporter must submit a separate rates application to the Department of Commerce.  Separate rates applications must be filled out completely with the precise data and evidence required by the Department of Commerce.  The consequence for submitting an incomplete separate rates application is rejection of the application.  Because of the strict requirements of the separate rates application, and the extreme consequences of failing to satisfy those requirements, Chinese exporters should hire U.S. trade attorneys to guide them through the process.

Exporters
that demonstrate that they are not controlled by the Chinese government (that is, that they are separate from Chinese-government-controlled entities) will receive a separate rate, which is an additional import duty rate lower than the rate assigned to producers/exporters deemed to be controlled by the Chinese government.  Exporters with lower rates will be able to offer their standards steel fastener products at a lower price to U.S. buyers than their Chinese competitors.

NOTE-Comments may be made to the International Trade Commission by filing a written brief before its injury hearing (date to be determined).  Until the U.S. Department of Commerce initiates the investigation, only U.S. manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, U.S. unions and worker groups, and trade or buisiness associations may submit comments. However, Chinese and Taiwanese producers and exporters, and U.S. importers of Chinese and Taiwanese standard steel fasteners may submit comments or information related to industry support (that is, the petition must be supported by U.S. producers or workers that account for 25% of total U.S. production and more than 50% of the production of U.S. producers and workers voicing support or opposition to the petition).  Once the investigation is initiated, the U.S. Department of Commerce does not revisit the issue of industry support.


Investigation History     (back to top)
Petition: Injury | China AD | China CVD | Taiwan AD
                   List of Importers | List of Foreign Producers/Exporters

Supplemental Filings:
 AD Filing | CVD Filing
ITC Information:
Initiation | Conference Transcript | Prelim | Prelim-Report
ITC Questionnaires: Letter | Importers | US Producers | Foreign Producers 
                                          US Instructions
| Foreign Produder Instructions          

DOC Information: Fact Sheet | AD Initiation (amended) | CVD Initiation
DOC Questionnaires: Quantity & Value  Separate Rates Application (China)

                                                                                                          

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