Rulings, remedies and court proceedings for customs and trade professionals

US Asks CIT to Uphold New de Minimis Rate for Italian Steel Exporter

The U.S. on March 25 supported the Commerce Department’s voluntary remand results that used an Italian steel exporter’s quarterly costs methodology to calculate its steel’s value and assigned the exporter a de minimis rate (Officine Tecnosider SRL v. U.S., CIT # 23-00001).

Start A Trial

Exporter Officine Tecnosider initially received a 20.44% antidumping duty rate because the department refused to conduct a quarterly analysis of its costs during a review, something that Tecnosider argued had both been unlawful and resulted in significant distortion of its dumping margins (see 2301250044). Commerce sought a remand of its final results in May 2023 (see 2305160042), saying that it couldn’t find its analysis of the quarterly average prices of steel slab, an input, that had been submitted to the record by Tecnosider when it sought to reply to the exporter’s motion for judgment (see 2303200056).

The department’s subsequent assignment of a zero percent margin to Tecnosider in September (see 2309120010) was supported by substantial evidence and is in accordance with law, DOJ said in its March 25 brief. The record showed that steel slabs experienced significant price fluctuations during the relevant period of review, resulting in Tecnosider's costs changing by more than 25% between its highest and lowest quarter, it said. This, it said, is Commerce’s first criterion to switch from a yearlong to quarterly cost analysis.

Tecnosider also met Commerce’s second criterion -- evidence showed a linkage between the exporter's cost changes and sales prices, DOJ said. As a result, it said, a quarterly methodology for calculating Tecnosider's expenditures was called for by the department's standard practice.

It said Nucor’s arguments (see 2310160042) opposing the new results were meritless. The Court of International Trade must uphold Commerce’s determinations of fact as long as they are reasonable and supported by the record, it said.

Nucor’s alternative linkage analysis method would force the department to first run its margin calculation, then conduct the analysis, the government said. But it said that “the very purpose of Commerce’s quarterly cost analysis is to determine whether it is appropriate to use annual average cost data or quarterly cost data for the margin calculation, not after the fact,” calling the proposition unreasonable.

“The CONNUMs involved in the sales matches between markets could vary based on specific adjustments and calculations, depending on whether Commerce uses annual average cost data or quarterly cost data,” it said.

On the other hand, record evidence showed a reasonable correlation between Tecnosider's quarterly costs and the prices of its steel, it said.