US accuses EC of steel dumping

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Steel produced in five Common Market countries and Romania has been illegally dumped on the US market, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

The ruling came only days after American steel companies refused to drop unfair-trade suits in exchange for an agreed limit on Common Market steel shipments to this country. As a result of Tuesday's decision, American importers of the offending products will be required to post bond to offset the dumping margin on any future imports. The bond, which will raise the price of the steel as much as 41 percent in some cases, will be in addition to levies imposed earlier on imports of subsidized steel products from the European Community.

A department official said there are no plans to return to the bargaining table and reshape the aborted export limitation plan to meet US steel industry objections.

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The agreement, which would have reduced exports of 11 European steel products by about 10 percent from 1981 levels, was contingent on the US industry's willingness to withdraw the dumping and subsidy cases filed against EC nations. The companies chose to go ahead with the cases, however, and US law requires the Commerce Department to accede to their wishes.

A final ruling on the subsidy suits is due by Aug. 24. The dumping cases are now slated for final disposition by Oct. 25, but the deadline is likely to be pushed back until December.

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