The Treasury Department yesterday announced the last set of prices it needs to put together its minimum price program for steel imported into the United States.
These minimum prices are part of a five-part program to aid the ailing American steel industry, which claims that it has been the victim of low-price foreign steel that has illegally eaten up the domestic market.
If steel products are imported at a price below the minimum, or trigger, price, an immediate investigation will be launched by Treasury to determine whether the products are being dumped (sold below the cost of production). The Treasury plans to put the plan into effect around Feb. 15.
Early this month the Treasury announced trigger prices for basic categories of steel such as cold-rolled sheet and plates. Yesterday the Treasury published the list of "extra" prices that must be added to the basic price to come up with a trigger price.
Most steel buyers have one or more "extra" specifications for the product they order such as special alloy, special size or heat treatment.
U.S. steel makers have said that the calculation of the extras is a key to whether the plan will work. The trigger prices are based on the cost of production of the world's most efficient steel makers, the Japanese.