Houston, TX and Argo, IL, August 12, 2016 – Today Boltex Manufacturing Co., L.P. (“Boltex”) and Weldbend Corporation (“Weldbend”) announced that the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) preliminarily determined that imports of finished carbon steel flanges from India, Italy and Spain are causing injury to the domestic industry. The Commission vote was 6-0, resulting in an affirmative decision. The ruling by the ITC demonstrates that there is a reasonable indication that imports are injuring the domestic flange industry and American workers. As a result of this decision, these cases against foreign producers in the above-named countries will proceed.“We applaud the affirmative decision found by the ITC, ruling that imports of finished carbon steel flanges from India,Italy and Spain have caused injury to U.S. producers,” says Frank Bernobich, President of Boltex. “Today’s vote marks a step in the right direction to restore fair trade practices and allow the market to operate on a level playing field.”“As family owned and operated businesses, the decision to file petitions against these unfair trade practices was a significant undertaking, but one that was necessary for our survival,” says James Coulas, Jr., President and CEO of Weldbend. “For generations Weldbend and its employees have manufactured great products and we only ask for the ability to operate in a fair market. We are extremely pleased with the ITC’s preliminary decision and that our cases can proceed.”
Boltex and Weldbend filed petitions concurrently with the ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) on June 30, 2016. The ITC initiated their investigation on June 30, 2016 and Commerce initiated their investigations on July 20, 2016.Commerce will calculate antidumping margins and subsidy rates, which are designed to offset the amount by which the product is sold at less than fair value and the amount by which the product benefits from unfair government subsidies. In the Department’s initiation notice the Department estimated the dumping margins for steel flanges as “(1) India ranges from 17.80 to 37.84 percent; (2) Italy ranges from 15.76 percent to 204.53percent; and (3) Spain ranges from 13.19 percent to 24.43 percent” The subsidy rate from India was estimated to be above de minimis. Commerce is currently scheduled to make its preliminary subsidy determination on September 23, 2016, and its preliminary dumping determinations on December 7, 2016. If an affirmative decision is found, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs to collect antidumping duty cash deposits to offset the subsidies.