On November 9, 2023, the Department of Commerce (DOC) published the final determination in the investigation into the anti-circumvention of trade remedy measures on steel pipe products from Vietnam.
On August 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) initiated an investigation into the circumvention of trade remedy measures on certain steel pipe products primarily under HS codes 7306.61 and 7306.30 imported from Vietnam. The allegation was that Vietnam imported hot-rolled steel (HRS) to produce these products.
According to the accusation, HRS served as the primary material to manufacture steel pipes exported to Vietnam from China, Taiwan, South Korea, India, and then processed and simply transformed into steel pipes for export to the United States to evade anti-dumping and countervailing duties applied by the U.S. to these countries/territories.
On April 12, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a preliminary determination on the Federal Register regarding the investigation into steel pipe products imported from Vietnam. It determined that the importation of pipe products and carbon welded round steel pipes (CWP) into Vietnam from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2021, did not use HRS produced in Taiwan. Therefore, there was no circumvention of the U.S. anti-dumping duties applicable to Taiwan.
In accordance with Section 781(e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, the DOC notified the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) of the preliminary determination denying Vietnam’s anti-dumping duty circumvention. Upon receiving the information, the ITC did not request consultations with the DOC.
The U.S. Department of Commerce determined that certain carbon and non-alloy steel welded round pipes and CWP imported into the U.S. during the investigation period from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2021, were not completed in Vietnam using HRS produced in Taiwan. Therefore, there were no imports circumventing anti-dumping duties on pipes and steel pipes and CWP from Taiwan.
On August 9, 2023, the DOC published the final determination of the investigation into steel pipe products imported from Vietnam. Specifically, Vietnam was identified as not engaging in anti-circumvention practices of the trade protection measures applied by the U.S. to steel products from Taiwan (carbon welded steel pipes and non-alloy welded round steel pipes) by not using HRS sourced from Taiwan.
Remaining steel pipe products under investigation received additional notifications from the DOC on November 9, 2023. The DOC maintained the findings in the preliminary determination issued in April 2023 that Vietnamese enterprises were circumventing the trade remedy measures applied by the U.S. to certain countries.
However, the DOC will provide opportunities for Vietnamese manufacturing and exporting businesses to participate in a self-certification mechanism by confirming that they do not use HRS sourced from China, Taiwan, South Korea, or India to be exempt from measures (except for businesses concluded by the DOC as uncooperative in the recent investigation process).
Businesses concluded as uncooperative by the DOC in the investigation process may request administrative reviews to participate in the self-certification mechanism.
To protect their interests, Vietnamese businesses should contact a law firm specializing in trade remedy to assist in the preparation stage, screening of documents, and providing evidence that they have not engaged in anti-circumvention practices of trade protection measures, thereby being exempt from or receiving lower duty rates.
The DOC’s announcement can be downloaded here.