The Foreign Ministry stressed this Saturday that the initiation of a claim against the United States before the World Trade Organization (WTO) After a series of antidumping measures against local steel tubes, it seeks to defend “the interests of Argentine exports.”
The country decided to resort to the dispute settlement system provided by the WTO for the anti-dumping restrictions ordered by the United States since November 2022 on the entry of steel tubes into its market, through the application of a 78.30% tariff for five years.
This product, with high added value, it is used in the oil and gas industry, and is produced in the country by Siderca, a subsidiary of Tenaris, of the Techint group.
Antidumping measures are applied by countries when they consider that there is a case of unfair competition, through which products are exported at a lower price than the normal sale price, thus damaging local producers.
As indicated by the Palacio San Martín through a statement, the attempts to find a mutually agreed solution “have not given results”, for which the Government decided to resort to the WTO in order to defend “the interests of Argentine exports”. and look for “a new instance of negotiation that allows exports to be recovered.”
This is the third time that Argentina has resorted to the WTO for the same reason.
Prior to the application of antidumping measures, Argentina exploited these steel manufactures through a quota -imposed in 2018- that allowed the country to export in a volume that did not cause harm to the US market, the Foreign Ministry argued.
According to official calculations, the antidumping measures would generate a loss of US$ 1,000 million during the five years of their validity due to export losses.
“This measure has not served to alleviate the alleged damage to the United States industry and has simply facilitated the replacement of tubes of Argentine origin in that market by tubes from other origins at an even lower price”questioned the Government.
Currently, the US market is only open to domestic steel bars, a semi-finished product that is much less valuable than tubes.
The US Department of Commerce authorized last February the importation of an annual quota of 200,000 tons of this product with an import tariff of 35%, after efforts by the Foreign Ministry.
The United States also investigated imports from Russia and Mexico, to which it also ended up applying a rate of 184.21% and 12.01% (depending on the firms) in the case of Russia, and 44.93% for Mexico. .
The measures taken by the United States would be incompatible with the provisions of the Antidumping Agreement of the WTO of 1994, as well as the General Agreement on Customs Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in its modifications of that year, because according to the Argentine claim – the United States accumulated , when carrying out the dumping analysis, imports from the country with others from sources that were not the target of an investigation, such as those from South Korea, without “duly” examining whether it was appropriate, according to the published documents by the WTO.
The International Trade Commission (Usitic) also did not properly prove whether Argentine exports had a “substantial impact” or a “causal relationship” with “any loss of sales or income” that occurred in the local market.
The organism “did not demonstrate that the investigated imports cause the alleged injury to the domestic industry”, underline the document.
After Argentina’s presentation, the dispute settlement system provides for a period of 60 days for both countries to negotiate.
In the event that a satisfactory solution is not reached, they may demand that the WTO open a panel to settle the counterpoint.