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Southwire has begun construction of a 400,000-sq-ft facility in Georgia, a $20 million project that will be in the Douglas County part of Villa Rica, in the same business park as Southwire’s current West Georgia and Retail East Customer Service Centers (CSC).

Southwire reported that the project, scheduled for completion by the end of 2018, will result in approximately 60 new jobs. Kurt Hennelly, Southwire’s executive vice president of sourcing, distribution and manufacturing strategy, said that the new property is adjacent to the CSC, essentially creating an expansion of the existing Southeast distribution complex. The addition will enable the company “to optimize inbound and outbound freight costs while continuing to improve upon the excellent service levels our customers have come to expect from Southwire,” Hennelly said. More details regarding the facility and the expansion will be released as the development progresses.

Ron Wilson, chairman of the Douglas County Economic Development Authority board of directors, said the agency is “delighted to have a company like Southwire expand their operations within our county.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce has made affirmative final antidumping (AD) determinations against imports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from Belarus, Russian and the UAE, a decision that follows a previous one made for seven other countries.

The final AD margins for Belarus was 280.02% as a Belarus-wide entity, the agency reported. For Russia, the margins were 756.93% for Abinsk Electric Steel Works Ltd. and JSC NLMK-Ural, and 436.8% for all others. For the UAE, the margin was 84.1%.

The matter was pressed by four U.S. steel makers—Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc., Nucor Corp., Keystone Consolidated Industries and Charter Steel—what had petitioned the International Trade Commission. Other countries part of the trade case include the Ukraine, South Africa, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Turkey and the U.K. Commerce decided to extend its consideration of steel wire rod imports from South Africa and Ukraine. Determinations on the remaining five countries was scheduled for March 15.

One opponent to the AD duties was the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, which argued at a hearing that Grade 1080 and higher steel wire rod should be excluded from any duties. Domestic steel wire rod suppliers simply cannot meet the volume and quality needs of the U.S. tire manufacturing industry, said Tracey Norberg, USTMA senior vice president and general counsel.

Commerce has instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start collecting AD duties from these producers. Because the agency found critical circumstances in the case of Russia, it has told CBP to collect duties from Russian steel wire rod producers effective 90 days from the publication of preliminary determinations in the Federal Register.

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has fined seven local cable manufacturers a total of $14.7 million for bid rigging.

Per reports in The Pulse, The Korea Herald and the FTC, the companies—LS Cable & System Ltd., Taihan Electric Wire Co., Gaon Cable Co., Nexans Korea Ltd., Daewon Cable Co., Seoul Electric Wire Co. and Iljin Electric Co.—are accused of rigging bids for 37 tenders that were part of three separate contracts from Nov. 2011 to Oct. 2013. The bid winner would distribute the orders equally to the rest.

The FTC said in a statement that each company will be subjected to a fine of about US$2.5 million. It added that the case will be referred for prosecution. Korean courts have sentenced executives and employees that participated in the bid-rigging to imprisonment. In a 2014 case involving bid-rigging of cables used for nuclear power plants, three executives were sentenced to 6 months imprisonment. That action was noteworthy as it was the first time such a sentence had been imposed.

In the latest case, the reports cited a Fair Trade Commission’s statement as saying that collusive tendering is rampant in the local electrical cable market because only a few selective bidders are allowed to take part and order volume and timing is often flexible. The manufacturers worked together more than 30 times to set bidding prices for three separate cable supply contracts and shared the work among themselves over a two-year period between 2011 and 2013. Each company will be subjected to a fine of about 2.5 billion won, the statement added.

While admitting to the wrongdoing, the cable companies said that they had taken such measures in the past to relieve oversupply issues that stemmed from overcapacity in the production bases here. The companies have imposed penalties on the individuals involved in collusion and no longer engage in such practices, industry sources added..