Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the initiation of a circumvention inquiry into imports of steel concrete reinforcing steel bar from Mexico, to determine if imports of rebar that are bent at one or both ends circumvent the existing antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders.
U.S. law provides that Commerce may conduct a circumvention inquiry when evidence suggests that merchandise subject to an existing AD/CVD order undergoes a minor alteration, bringing the product outside the scope of that order.
In 2018, imports of rebar from Mexico were valued at an estimated $51 million.
This inquiry was initiated in response to requests from U.S. domestic producers of rebar: Nucor Corporation, Gerdau Ameristeel U.S. Inc., Commercial Metals Company, Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, Inc., Byer Steel Group, Inc., and Steel Dynamics, Inc.
If Commerce preliminarily determines that circumvention is occurring, it will instruct Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on rebar from Mexico that is subject to the inquiry. These duties will be imposed on future imports, and on any unliquidated entries since the date on which Commerce initiated this circumvention inquiry.
The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 26 new circumvention inquiries – a 189 percent increase from the number of circumvention initiations made during the comparable period in the previous administration.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade law and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international rules and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.