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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Washington Probes Steel Plate Imports

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Commerce Department will pursue the American steel industry's trade complaints against six countries accused of illegally pricing cut-to-length steel plates.

The inquiry was triggered by a U.S. International Trade Commission vote Friday finding evidence that imports from France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and South Korea have hurt domestic producers.

The cases are part of a second round of complaints filed by major producers that have been struggling against a recent surge in steel imports. In the first round, the government is considering tariffs on hot-rolled carbon steel from Japan and Brazil.

"Today's vote represents another step by the U.S. steel industry and its workers to pursue aggressively all available courses of action," said Paul Wilheim, president of U.S. Steel Group.

The victory was only a partial one, however. The trade commission, an independent fact-finding agency, voted to drop cases against the Czech Republic and Macedonia after finding their shipments of cut-to-length plates to be negligible - less than 3 percent of overall imports to the United States.