The Turkish steel exporters are extremely disappointed by this scandalous and unlawful decision of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is clear that the purpose of this investigation was not to determine dumping or subsidization, but to block imports at all costs. DOC did everything possible to prevent Turkish exporters from responding to requests, including sending extremely detailed questionnaires with impossibly short or truncated deadlines. When this approach failed, they decided to apply countervailing duties to a program that never appeared in any questionnaire and was never alleged by the petitioners – namely, the duty drawback program, which has a long history as an appropriate program in every trade-law context. In the end, the Commerce Department sharply penalized Turkey's exporters for allegedly receiving subsidies which the Department, itself, knew full well the exporters had never received. To apply a penalty margin in this context at the last moment, without giving the exporters an opportunity to address the charges, violates the much-vaunted “due process” rights of the exporters and is merely a pretext for crushing duties.
Throughout this process DOC has been clearly biased against Turkish exporters as apparent from the fact that almost every argument raised by the Turkish parties was rejected. While Turkey's steel exporters have long become accustomed to expensive and heavy-handed investigations, even while the United States enjoys a huge trade surplus with our country, the increasing politicization of the U.S. trade regime is a singularly unwelcome development. We have no doubt that Turkish Government will take this to a WTO panel and prove that we are right to the whole world.