Steel Trade Cases: The Steel Supply Chain

Background on Steel Trade Cases

To achieve economic and political objectives, many countries use industrial policies aimed at nurturing their domestic steel industry through trade protection and subsidies.

The U.S. steel industry claims to aspire only for a globally level playing field for international trade and commerce. So, the U.S. steel industry utilizes anti-dumping (to offset product sold below fair market value) and countervailing (to offset unfair subsidies) duty laws that require a significant amount of time, money, and resources to prepare and file. It also requires the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) to evaluate and determine if injury has occurred.

Recent Trade Case Activity

The 2015 year was filled with steel trade cases being petitioned and filed by many of the U.S. steel mills. Here is a recap of what we have seen recently:

The U.S. steel industry filed petitions in 2015.

  • Corrosion resistant material from China, India, Italy, South Korea, and Taiwan
  • Cold-rolled from Brazil, China, India, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, and United Kingdom
  • Hot-rolled from Australia, Brazil, Japan, and the Netherlands

Federal government passes Trade Preferences Extension Act (TPA) of 2015 providing an easier path of relief.

  • Material injury is no longer defined as an ‘unprofitable industry’ for several quarters and no recent improvement
  • Uncooperative parties named in petitions can now be assigned extremely high margins
  • The DOC can disregard certain distortive data that it previously could not

Latest Update on Steel Trade Cases

Now what you may be wondering is, does all this activity have an outcome or will it see the light at the end of the tunnel? It appears 2016 will see conclusions to these cases.

Corrosion Resistant Steels

Preliminary anti-dumping and countervailing duties of well over 200% for China and modest penalties of less than 10% for other countries have been established. Final determinations are currently expected to be announced on May 19, 2016.

Cold Rolled Steel

Preliminary determinations are scheduled to be announced on February 24, 2016, and final determinations are currently scheduled to be announced on May 10, 2016.

Hot Rolled Steel

Preliminary countervailing duties of 7% for Brazil have been placed. Preliminary anti-dumping determinations expected on March 9, 2016, and final determinations are currently scheduled for countervailing duties on March 24, 2016 and anti-dumping on May 24, 2016.

For more information on the steel supply chain contact your local sales representative.


By: Tony Hammes
Vice President Supply Chain

Arm Guards: Employee Safety Series

Using arm guards to protect arms and hands while checking slit coilEmployee safety is a top priority for us at Metalwest. We want to ensure each of our employees leaves work each night the same way they come in each morning. It is important for employees who are handling sheet metal material to be equipped with the right protective gear.

Arm guards are worn by employees who work directly with the metal, scrap, or banding. They help protect employees from being cut by sharp edges, burned, or exposed to chemicals.

Because we are constantly looking to advance the safety for our employees, Metalwest is in the process of testing a new type of arm guard for material handlers. While testing is still in the early stages, the new arm guards are proven to last longer and provide more protection than other types. They also obtain an ANSI rating of 5.

Choosing the Right Arm Guards

Climate and Comfort

All of our locations experience seasonal changes, but the changes vary from branch to branch. Some may have frigid, wet winters, while others are on the more mild side. Some may have dry, hot summers, while the others have humid ones.

The variation in climates can cause discomfort. Our material handlers are currently in the process of testing out arm guards and have positive feedback on the comfort level, but summer will determine if the reaction will be the same.

It is important to find products that protect our employees, but are also comfortable for them to wear all year long.

Using arm guards to protect arms while checking sheetCut Resistance and Injury Prevention

Another important consideration for arm guards is the level of cut resistance. Because our employees are working with thin sheet metal, cut resistance is a key component to making a decision on which arm guard is the right fit.

While there are many different hazards that employees can face on a day-to-day basis, there are a few key things to consider when looking to test or buy arm guards.

  1. Are employees working with any type of material or equipment that has the ability to cause abrasion or possibly amputation?
  2. Do workers risk being exposed to dangerous chemicals, liquids, or other harmful substances?
  3. Are employees at risk of being burned whether by heat or chemicals?
  4. Do workers pose the risk of being exposed to electrical wires or other types of electricity?

There are different types of arm guards (and gloves) suited to different needs. Because we need cut resistance at Metalwest, we require gloves/arm guards with a cut/abrasion ANSI rating of at least five.

We value our employees’ safety at Metalwest. After all, we are not just about the steel.


Collaboration with the Metalwest Safety Team.