September 7, 2017 / 12:16 AM / 13 days ago

U.S. starts probe into steel flanges from China, India

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross looks up while addressing the SelectUSA Investment Summit, National Harbour, Maryland, U.S., June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Commerce on Wednesday said it began an investigation into possible dumping and subsidization of stainless steel flanges from China and India.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the trade action in a statement, saying: “The Department will act swiftly, while assuring a full and fair assessment of the facts, to ensure that everyone trades on a level playing field.”

In 2016 imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India were valued at an estimated $16.3 million and $32.1 million, respectively, the statement said.

The probe followed petitions by two privately held companies, Core Pipe Products Inc of Illinois and Maass Flange Corp of Texas.

They alleged dumping margins, or the discount to fair value, on products from China of 99.23 percent to 257.11 percent and from India of 78.49 percent to 145.25 percent. They also estimated that products from both countries were subsidized at undetermined rates, the statement said.

The International Trade Commission is due to make a preliminary decision about whether the imports injure U.S. producers by Oct. 2, which would ensure the Commerce Department continues its investigation, the statement said.

It said that from Jan. 20 through Sept. 6 this year, the department had begun 62 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, up 41 percent from the previous year.

Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Andrew Hay

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