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ITC Failed to Consider 'Unprecedented' Conditions When Considering OCTG Imports, Manufacturers Argue

The International Trade Commission didn't properly consider the "unprecedented conditions" of competition during the period of review in its investigation on oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from Argentina and Mexico, which led to "erroneous volume, price, and impact determinations, Tenaris Bay City and consolidated plaintiffs from two other cases said in a May 22 motion for judgment at the Court of International Trade (Tenaris Bay City, Inc. v. U.S., CIT # 22-00344).

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Tenairs Bay City, along with Maverick Tube, Ipsco Tubulars, Tenaris Global Services and Siderca asked the court to remand the issue to the ITC to reconsider its decision-making process regarding the unique competitive conditions during the period of investigation and its determination to cumulate imports.

According to Tenaris, any injury to the domestic industry was a result of those unique conditions and not from the subject imports. The reduced demand for petroleum due to the Russia/Saudi oil war and the global pandemic reduced the need for OCTG, Tenaris said. High inventory levels and the de-stocking of U.S. inventories combined with extremely high prices for hot-rolled coil steel and labor shortages also contributed to domestic industry injury, Tenaris said. The ITC made its determination solely on the absolute increase in import volumes, but failed to tie those volumes directly to domestic injury, Tenaris said.

In addition, the ITC's finding that OCTG imports from Argentina, Mexico, South Korea and Russia were fungible with each other and with the domestic product was incorrect and led to the erroneous determination to cumulate those imports, Tenaris said. Nearly all OCTG imports from Argentina and Mexico consisted of seamless OCTG, while imports from South Korea consisted almost entirely of welded OCTG, which are not interchangeable and are valued differently, Tenaris said.

The case originated with three separate complaints filed in January challenging different aspects of the ITC's decision-making process (see 2301180047). The cases were then consolidated via a March 3 CIT order (see 2303060062).