HomeGAA in the MediaNewsUS Alloy Producer Targets BHP Unit For Anti-Dumping Duties

 

Law360
February 19, 2015
By Alex Lawson

US Alloy Producer Targets BHP Unit For Anti-Dumping Duties

A West Virginia manufacturer on Thursday lodged petitions with U.S. trade authorities that could lead to hefty tariffs on a BHP Billiton Ltd. subsidiary's shipments of a critical alloy additive used in steel production, alleging that the foreign company has sold its product in the U.S. at unfairly low prices.

 

Filing concurrent petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission was Felman Production LLC, which said the dumped imports of silicomanganese from Australia's Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Co. have ravaged the U.S. market.

A statement from Felman announcing the new case alleged TEMCO's prices have dropped sharply in recent years, significantly undercutting U.S. producer prices and ultimately causing Felman to shutter its production from June 2013 to July 2014.

“Dumped silicomanganese from Australia has had a devastating impact on U.S. market conditions in recent years, but we are not giving up,” Felman CEO Mordechai Korf said. “Felman successfully restarted two of its furnaces last year, and we are now taking this important action to ensure that U.S. manufacturers and workers have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.”

Felman has asked Commerce to slap anti-dumping duties of 61.1 percent on silicomanganese imports from Australia, where TEMCO is the lone producer. The agency will decide whether to move ahead with the investigation within 20 days.

In the parallel filing, the ITC will have 45 days to issue a preliminary determination regarding whether the domestic industry has been injured or threatened with injury by the allegedly dumped Australian imports. The case will go forward only if the ITC issues an affirmative injury finding, an outcome firmly backed by Felman.

“Because Australia has been the 'low price leader' in recent years, and because U.S. contract prices are linked to published index prices, Felman believes there is no doubt that imports from Australia are having a far-reaching effect on U.S. industry financial performance and American jobs,” the company said in its statement.

The case comes at crucial time for Australian mining giant BHP, which jointly owns TEMCO with Anglo American PLC. TEMCO is one of a fleet of mining operations that BHP is looking to spin off into an independent mining and metals company known as South32.

The silicomanganese industry is no stranger to the U.S. trade remedy laws, as Commerce already has anti-dumping orders in effect against such imports from India, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, China, and Ukraine.

Representatives for TEMCO did not immediately respond to a request for comment after business hours Thursday.

Felman is represented by Jack A. Levy, Myles S. Getlan, Thomas M. Beline and Carl P. Moyer of Cassidy Levy Kent LLP.

Counsel information TEMCO was not immediately available Thursday.

The parallel petitions are Silicomanganese from Australia, case numbers A-602-808 and 731-TA-1269 in the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission.