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Canada Follows U.S. Lead on Pipe Dumping Pushback

Canadian government officials have started investigations of the imports of oil/gas industry pipe from up to nine nations, echoing efforts by the U.S. Commerce Department to thwart "dumping" of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) for pipe priced below cost to get a foothold on robust North American markets (see Daily GPI, July 15).

Canada's Board Services Agency (CBSA) said it is probing alleged dumping of OCTG coming from China Taipei, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

All of the same nations, except for Indonesia, were part of the U.S. Commerce probe that resulted in imposing a stiff tariff on tubular steel (pipe) imported from nine nations. Steel companies and the U.S. steelworkers union strongly supported the Obama administration's action.

In Canada, the investigations are a response to complaints filed by Calgary-based Tenaris Canada and Saskatchewan-based Evraz North America Inc. The two companies allege that the dumping of under-priced pipe is harming Canadian production by causing price depression and suppression, lost sales, lost employment, reduced profits, reduced capacity use and negative impacts on capital investments.

Canada's International Trade Tribunal will begin a preliminary inquiry into the allegations and plans to decide by Sept. 19 whether Canadian producers and the nation's economy have been harmed. While the tribunal is looking at the question of harm, CBSA will investigate whether the imports are being dumped and/or subsidized, and will make preliminary decisions Oct. 20, the agency said.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Interpipe Co., a global steel pipe supplier with North American offices in Houston, said last Monday that it reached a settlement with the Commerce Department regarding its imposition earlier in the month of a higher tariff on tubular steel (pipe) imported from the Ukraine, South Korea and seven other nations.           Interpipe accounts for 85% of the steel pipe, or oil country tubular goods (OCTG), imported into the United States from the Ukraine. A Washington, DC-based Commerce Department spokesperson told NGI that this is the only deal made with an overseas steel pipe supplier involved in the anti-dumping actions, and it was based on some of the current events in the Ukraine (see Daily GPI, July 22).

Commerce levied new duties of up to 118% on imported steel tubular goods from the nine nations involved in the alleged dumping. Booming domestic shale oil production areas seeking more pipeline takeaway capacity and the U.S. producers are watching closely to see if the result of Commerce's action is a change in the exports of OCTG from the nine nations hit with the additional taxes.

The Canadian agency said that duties to counteract the dumping and subsidies normally are applied only to the goods released on or after the day it offers preliminary decisions. However, if the tribunal in the meantime determines that an unusually large increase in harmful imports has occurred prior to the CBSA's decision, justifying the retroactive application of anti-dumping charges, the higher charges ultimately could be assessed against goods coming into Canada now.

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