Image courtesy of Steve Snodgrass/Flickr.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is on track to significantly increase tariffs on imported steel pipes used in the energy sector.

The tariffs on “oil country tubular goods” (OCTG) could increase by as much as 118 percent, Reuters said.

OCTG imports from South Korea, India, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam would be subject to antidumping duties while imports from Philippines and Thailand would be exempt.

Antidumping duties are imposed when a foreign company is selling an item significantly below production cost.

South Korea’s OCTG exports to the United States were worth $818 million in 2013, the Commerce Department reported.

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, imported steel currently accounts for about two-thirds of the domestic market.

Approval of the tariffs would be a victory for U.S. steel producers and suppliers.

In 2013, U.S. steel companies filed a complaint with the Department of Commerce against foreign steel manufacturers as cheap imports flooded into the U.S. market to meet skyrocketing demand from the energy sector.

The tariff spike would give U.S. steel makers a leg up in supplying the domestic market by stemming the flow of cheaper imported products.

In July, the Department of Commerce said that imports from South Korea’s Hyundai Hysco would be subject to duties of 15.75 percent, imports from Nexteel will have a 9.89 percent duty and all other South Korean producers will have a duty of 12.82 percent.

The International Trade Commission, a U.S. federal body that investigates unfair trade practices, upheld the tariffs last week.

“This was a resounding victory for the domestic steelmakers,” President of the Steel Manufacturers Association Phillip Bell said.

The decision is still subject to appeal.


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