Global Stainless Steel News: US Launch Circumvention Inquiry

On Tuesday 12th May 2020, the US Department of commerce announced that it had initiated an inquiry to discover if imports of stainless steel strip and sheet originating in Vietnam circumvent existing countervailing and anti-dumping duties. It was also announced that the department will concurrently initiate a scope inquiry to determine is such products are within the scope of Chinese AD/CVD orders.

The potential circumvention relates to stainless steel flat-rolled products from China that have been completed in Vietnam before export the the US. If preliminary investigations determine that such circumvention is in fact occurring, the US Department of Commerce will then instruct US Customs and Border Protection to suspend liquidation and begin collecting cash deposits on stainless steel strip and sheet imports.

Any such products that are found to be circumventing AD/CVD orders (or subject to their scope) will have duties imposed on future imports, as well as on any un-liquidated entries dating from the initiation of the inquiry.

Vietnam is among the five largest buyers of stainless steel coils and plates from China. Data from the Shanghai Metals Market showed that China's exports of these materials to Vietnam accounted for 7.3% of 2019's total exports: this compares to exports to the US accounting for just 0.3%. These figures represent a big change from 2018, when exports to Vietnam totaled 9.4% while exports to the US stood at 0.24%.

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