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US hikes duty on Indian steel pipe

Move comes a month after New Delhi complained at WTO about an earlier US round

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The United States piled another layer of preliminary duties on Thursday on a certain type of from India, one month after New Delhi complained at the World Trade Organisation about an earlier US round.

The US Commerce Department said it had determined that Indian companies were selling circular welded carbon-quality steel pipe in the United States at 48.43% below fair market value.

The duties will require importers to post bonds or cash deposits based on the preliminary rates until a final decision on anti-dumping duties is made later this year.

The department also set preliminary anti-dumping duties on this kind of pipe of zero to 27.96% for Vietnam, 5.59% for Oman and 3.29% to 11.71% for the United Arab Emirates.

US companies Allied Tube and Conduit, JMC Steel Group, Wheatland Tube and United States Steel Corp petitioned the government last year for import relief.

In March, the Commerce department set preliminary "countervailing" duties of nearly 286% on the same type of steel pipe from India to offset government subsidies.

That prompted India to request consultations with the United States on the action at the WTO, the first stage in filing a formal trade dispute.

India rejects the US view that Indian manufacturers are subsidized because a portion of the iron ore they use to produce the steel pipes comes from India's top iron ore miner NMDC, a state-run company.

The United States in 2011 imported about $64.5 million of the steel product from India, $53.9 million from UAE, $50.1 million from Vietnam and $28.0 million from Oman.

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