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Vallourec on top in trade case

Commerce Department will tariff goods from Korea, Russia, Ukraine

YOUNGSTOWN — Vallourec Star has won a favorable ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission on claims the industry was harmed by subsidized and unfairly priced imports from Korea, Russia and Ukraine.

The win for Vallourec — the largest U.S. producer of seamless steel tube with a plant in Youngstown — means the U.S. Department of Commerce will issue anti-dumping duty orders on seamless tubular imports from the three countries and countervailing duty orders on those products from Korea and Russia.

Both are tariffs on goods coming into the United States. Anti-dumping duties are placed to offset unfair foreign pricing and countervailing duties are placed to counter government-subsidized goods.

Vallourec petitioned the trade commission and commerce department in July 2020 to conduct an investigation that determined the industry was “materially injured” by pipe imports from the countries coming into the U.S.

The company declined to comment Thursday on the ruling.

Vallourec also has plants in Houston, where its U.S. headquarters are located, and in Muskogee, Okla. Its largest facility is the Youngstown plant, a melt shop and rolling mill on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to produce seamless steel pipe for gas and oil exploration.

Vallourec also operates a premium connection threading facility on Ohio Works Drive there.

In April, the trade commission determined seamless steel pipe imported from the Czech Republic was causing harm, and countervailing duties were placed on those products imported from the central European country.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan testified before the commission in March, urging it to ensure U.S. trade-remedy laws were enforced and relief given for the harmful imports from the four countries.

That followed a letter he wrote to the commission’s chairman in July 2020 supporting Vallourec’s petitions.

“Unfortunately, unfair trade practices have hurt communities in northeast Ohio and across the United States for decades; just this year, 59 of our local jobs were permanently cut from the Vallourec facility in Youngstown. As a country, we must stand up and speak out against these practices. We must enact policies that favor the American worker,” said Ryan, D-Howland.

The trade commission’s ruling “levels the playing field for domestic industry leaders like Vallourec and ensures our economy will be competitive now and into the future,” Ryan said.

business@tribtoday.com

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