ITC Rules in Favor of Thomas Strip Steel

WARREN, Ohio -- The International Trade Commission ruled Friday in favor of Thomas Strip Steel's claim that Japanese imports of a specialized nickel product unfairly impacted the domestic industry. The ruling means antidumping penalties can be imposed on the imports.

Thomas Steel Strip Corp., based here, is a subsidiary of India-based Tata Steel Group. The company field the complaint in March 2013 with the ITC (READ STORY).

It's estimated that Japanese manufacturers imported into the United States $12.6 million work of "diffusion-annealed, nickel-plated flat-rolled steel in 2013, according to the Reuters news service. In 2012, imports of Japanese steel products increased 23% from 2011, to reach an estimated $24.1 million.

“Today’s affirmative ruling in favor of Thomas Steel Strip is another example of tough measures being taken by the Obama Administration to protect our local industries against the blatantly unfair trade practices that continue to undermine jobs and profits in Ohio and across the nation,” Ryan said.

The nickel plate that Thomas Steel Strip produces is a “highly specialized product” only produced in a few countries, and Thomas is its only remaining U.S. manufacturer, Ryan testified April 1 before the commission. Nickel plate accounts for about 75% of of the company’s annual sales revenue, he noted.

“Because of the low prices offered by imports from Japan -- prices, it should be made clear, that are lower than those in Japan’s own market -- TSS has lost substantial sales volume to dumped imports,” he said. “This includes a large share of the AA battery market, which comprises about 60% of all alkaline battery sales in the United States.”

Thomas can’t reduce the price of its nickel plate any further if it wants to remain economically viable, “nor should it have to in the face of unfair competition,” Ryan said. Companies like Thomas Steel Strip, “which remain committed to manufacturing their products in America with the help of our talented and dedicated workforce, deserve better than to be injured by imports that are not sold at a fair price.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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