Contact: Jelani Rucker
Allegation filed under new Customs law; claims duty evasion of Chinese steel pipe; pipe used in solar projects receiving Federal tax breaks
CHICAGO, IL – Wheatland Tube, a division of Zekelman Industries, announced that it has filed an allegation of duty evasion with U.S. Customs and Border Protection today, September 14, 2016.
The allegation is one of the first submitted to the agency in accordance with the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, implemented effective August 22, 2016. Wheatland Tube claims duty evasion of imports of Chinese circular welded steel pipe. This pipe is being used in solar projects, many of which are receiving Federal tax breaks.
“We uncovered evidence of the evasion of massive antidumping and countervailing duties on imports from China used in solar panel installations,” said Barry Zekelman, Chairman and CEO of Zekelman Industries. “As the largest pipe and tube producer in North America, we want to ensure that the laws designed to create a level playing field for our industry and our workers are not undermined by duty evasion practices.”
Antidumping and countervailing duties were imposed against imports of circular welded steel pipe from China in 2008, after the U.S. Department of Commerce found evidence of dumping and subsidies and the U.S. International Trade Commission determined that these imports materially injured the domestic pipe and tube industry. Dumping margins of 69.20 to 85.55 percent and subsidy rates of 29.62 to 616.83 percent are currently in effect against imports of these products.
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, P.L. 114-125, is the first comprehensive authorization of U.S Customs and Border Protection since 2003. Duty evasion allegations are one of the new features under the law, allowing domestic producers to help shed light on fraud, circumvention and evasion practices by foreign producers and importers.
“Our industry strongly supported the bipartisan efforts of Senators Wyden, Portman and others to pass this law to give Customs the leverage it needs to combat these fraud practices,” said David Seeger, President of Zekelman Industries. “With the demand for energy tubulars down, structural pipe used for solar installations is a growing area of increasing demand. We hate to see that demand, and the opportunities it provides for our industry, to be overtaken by unfairly traded pipe from China.”
Wheatland Tube filed its allegation through Schagrin Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based international trade law firm led by Roger Schagrin. The firm has over 30 years of experience in Customs matters and counseled Wheatland Tube in the 2008 circular welded steel pipe cases against China.
About Wheatland Tube
Wheatland Tube. a division of Zekelman Industries, produces a wide range of steel tubular products, including standard steel pipe, galvanized mechanical tubing, fence framework, fire sprinkler pipe, electrical conduit, elbows, couplings and nipples.
About Zekelman Industries
Zekelman Industries includes the operating divisions of Atlas Tube, Picoma, Energex Tube, Sharon Tube and Wheatland Tube. It is the largest independent manufacturer of hollow structural sections (HSS) and steel pipe, and the top producer of electrical conduit and elbows, couplings and nipples in North America. Zekelman Industries delivers a broad range of industrial solutions that build its customers’ success.