• Kyodo

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The U.S. Commerce Department has issued a final ruling in support of an antidumping complaint filed by members of the U.S. steel industry over stainless steel imports from Japan, South Korea and Spain, industry officials said Tuesday.

If the ruling is upheld by a final decision by the International Trade Commission, expected in May, antidumping duties corresponding to dumping margins will be levied against the imports of stainless steel angles, which are used primarily in construction.

The Commerce Department set the dumping margins at 114.51 percent on imports from Aichi Steel Corp., Daido Steel Co. and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd., and 70.48 percent on imports from all other Japanese makers, the officials said.

The complaint was jointly lodged against the Japanese imports last August by Slater Steels Corp. and two labor unions — the United Steelworkers of America and the AFL-CIO/CLC — with both the ITC, an independent federal agency, and the Commerce Department.

The petition was the 13th lodged by the U.S. steel industry against Japanese-made steel products since the so-called steel crisis hit the United States in the wake of the Asian financial crisis that began in summer 1997.

Eleven complaints have already been settled with Washington imposing punitive duties on seven categories of steel products and dismissing charges against four categories.

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