Commerce Department rejects most dumping penalty claims by Cleveland Cliffs; according to Can Manufacturers Institute, Cliffs is unable to meet two-piece cans' thermomechanical processing requirements and thus urges action against Chinese steel imports

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

January 16, 2024 (press release) –

Attribute to Can Manufacturers Institute President Robert Budway

CMI’s study in 2023, as well as CMI testimony at the ITC on January 4, 2024 and in CMI’s subsequent post-hearing brief affirmed that:

  • CLFs does not produce the TMP specification required for the much larger market that supplies advanced, high-speed two piece can production. 
  • CLF only produces TMP for the three-piece can market, which is only about 34% of total U.S. steel can production.
  • Of that small three-piece market, CLFs in 2022 could only supply 64% of the volumes requested by steel can makers and delivered only 15% of that volume on time.

Meanwhile, at the hearing CLFs’ senior executives admitted to investing an inadequate total of just $16 million per year in TMP production, when in reality more than $1 billion would be required to meet global TMP production standards.

In light of CLFs’ lack of commitment to meeting can makers’ needs for reliable, high-quality supply across the full range of TMP specifications, CMI believes there is no basis for ITC to issue an affirmative injury finding for CLFs based on imports of TMP specifications that CLFs has not made or will not make.

On January 5, 2024, the Commerce Department issued its final determinations on the “margins” for antidumping duties on imported TMP. These final dumping margins are magnitudes lower than what was alleged by CLFs in the petition:

COUNTRY CLEVELAND-CLIFFS ALLEGED DUMPING MARGINS (%) FINAL COMMERCE DUMPING MARGINS (%)
Canada 79.59 5.27
China 122.52 122.52
Germany 70.15 6.88
Korea 13.28 – 110.50 2.69
The Netherlands 125.10 – 296.04 0
Taiwan 46.76 – 59.61 0
Turkey 87.73 – 97.21 0
United Kingdom 111.92 0

Fortunately, the Commerce Department repudiated CLFs’ dumping allegations and determined that the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Taiwan and Turkey should not be subject to duties.  The Department also affirmed that South Korea’s largest steel TMP supplier, Dongbu Steel, should not be subject to any duties, while a much smaller steel TMP supplier, TCC Steel, should be subject to minimal duties of 2.69%. However, CMI is concerned that the Department found single digit duties needed to be imposed on tin mill steel from Germany and Canada. The U.S. market continues to experience the highest TMP prices in the world, and CMI does not agree that producers in Germany and Canada are selling at unfairly low prices in the United States.

It should be noted that the Commerce Department imposed antidumping duties of 122.52% and countervailing duties of 331.88% to 649.98% on tin mill steel from China. Steel produced in China represented less than 10% of imported TMP during the period of investigation. Importing TMP from China between 2020-2022 was necessary due to the extraordinary demand for canned products during the COVID-19 pandemic, but today TMP imports from China are dwindling. CMI believes that Commerce’s high antidumping and countervailing duties on imports from China reflect the existence of unfair trade practices and subsidies not only for imports of TMP, but also for imports of downstream finished products. Recent increases in imports of Chinese-origin metal can components that compete with U.S.-made aerosol cans, industrial use cans and unsealed food can ends, and in imports of Chinese-origin processed canned foods are clear evidence of that country’s subsidies, overcapacity and unfair pricing.

We implore the U.S. steel industry and its unions to join CMI in convincing the Biden administration and Congress to address the threat that imports of Chinese-origin steel can components and canned foods pose to the U.S. manufacturing base and to our nation’s food security.

For more information, please contact CMI’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications Sherrie Rosenblatt (Email:  srosenblatt@cancentral.com or Phone:  202-329-0178).

The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) is the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the United States. The can industry accounts for the annual domestic production of approximately 130.7 billion food, beverage and general line cans; employs more than 28,000 people with plants in 33 states, Puerto Rico and American Samoa; and generates about $15.7 billion in direct economic activity. CMI members are committed to providing safe, nutritious and refreshing canned food and beverages to consumers in the most sustainable packaging.   

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