PIPE AND TUBE HEADLINESPipe and Tube
U.S. Tubular Producers Mull Trade Case
Aug. 9, 2012
Northwest Pipe Co. and other American producers of energy tubulars are compiling data on imports with an eye toward potentially filing a trade complaint, the company's president and CEO confirmed this week.
Richard Roman said the Vancouver, Wash.-based producer, as well as its domestic counterparts, are "in the midst of gathering the information" to determine whether imports have been harmful to the industry.
Once this data has been collected and analyzed, Roman said, "then we'll see if there's a trade case to be filed."
Roman estimated it could take six to nine months for the domestic industry to develop a trade complaint. He didn't say when the effort started, and a Northwest Pipe executive could not be reached for further comment.
U.S. pipe and tube mills have grumbled for more than a year about imported oil country tubular goods and line pipe, and there have been rumors about trade complaints.
But Roman's remarks during a quarterly telephone conference with securities analysts come as one of the most specific indications from an industry executive to date that energy tubulars producers are actively pursuing the possibility of filing a trade complaint.
Moreover, Roman said that importers are also aware that the industry is gathering data for a trade case and suggested this might have an effect on future arrivals, particularly in the Gulf Coast.
"We'll see if that awareness of what we're doing impacts the volume of imports coming into Houston," he said.
While Roman was reluctant to cite any individual country's imports, earlier this year he cited "significantly higher" OCTG and line pipe import activity from South Korea.
Roman noted at the time that there had been "some talk" in the domestic industry about a trade case against South Korea. But he said that it "doesn't look like it's proceeding - or at least, not very quickly."
Source: American Metal Market