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WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Tuesday that imports of steel reinforcing bar from Mexico and Turkey put U.S. producers at risk, clearing the way for import duties on the goods.
ITC commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the complaint brought by Nucor Corp, Byer Steel, Cascade Steel, Commercial Metals Co and Gerdau Long Products North America.
The U.S. Commerce Department has set anti-dumping duties as high as 66.7 percent on Mexican reinforcing bar, used to strengthen concrete, and anti-subsidy duties of up to 1.25 percent for Turkey.
The companies complained that a doubling in cheap, subsidized imports between 2010 and 2012 endangered a recovery in the U.S. industry, which was hard hit by a collapse in construction during the recession.
"We are pleased with the ITC decision, which confirms that these Turkish and Mexican imports have had a devastating and injurious impacct on the U.S. industry," said attorney Alan Price of Wiley Rein, which is representing the U.S. industry.
Lawyers for the foreign firms argued that most imports were aimed at small-scale projects, while U.S. rebar was concentrated in large-scale construction like roads and bridges, where U.S. mills dominate the market and aggressively compete on price.
Mexico's Grupo Acerero SA de CV and Grupo Simec face duties of 66.7 percent and other producers, including Deacero SAPI de CV, 20.58 percent.
The decision can be appealed. (Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)