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Steelmakers in U.S. to File Complaints Over Alleged Tariff Evasion by Chinese Competitors

Steel producers in the U.S. plan to file complaints with the Commerce Department on Friday and Monday, alleging Chinese steelmakers have been routing metal shipments through Vietnam to avoid U.S. import tariffs, a lawyer for the steelmakers told The Wall Street Journal.

The complaints represent a new front in the campaign by American industry to stem a flood of excessive Chinese metal onto markets, which has caused factories, mills and smelters in the U.S. and Europe to lose money, lay off workers and sometimes close.

The complaints allege the Chinese have shipped steel to Vietnam, modified it, for example adding zinc to make it corrosion-resistant, and then sent it to the U.S., while paying Vietnam’s U.S. tariff rate, which is much lower than China’s.

The names of the Chinese steelmakers allegedly undertaking that practice will be kept confidential as part of the complaints, Paul Rosenthal of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, a lawyer for ArcelorMittal USA., said.

Under pressure from American steelmakers, the U.S. in the past year has imposed tariffs as high as 266% on at least four new categories of steel from China. Those...