JSW Steel has sued three of the largest American steelmakers, accusing them of conspiracy to stifle competition by refusing to sell raw metal to its US pipe and plate-making operations after the Trump administration levies import duties on cheaper foreign supplies, claims a Bloomberg report.
The three firms – US Steel Corp, Nucor Corp. and Cleveland-Cliffs Inc – control more than 80 per cent of domestic steelmaking capacity. JSW Steel has claimed these three companies conspired to cause direct harm to JSW, according to a lawsuit filed in Houston federal court.
JSW Steel’s US operations said it hasn’t been able to get enough semi-finished steel slab from suppliers outside the US since the tariffs were imposed in 2018. When the American companies refused to supply metal, JSW said its costs rose. The refusal also led to higher steel prices for US buyers at a time when domestic prices of the metal are near a record.
“When the tariffs were imposed we were working hard at getting exclusions and these companies had said: ‘Don’t worry about it, you don’t need an exclusion to bring in slabs, we can supply all you need,”’ JSW board member John Hritz said in an interview.
“We went down that road with them, and we tried our best to work with them, but never once did they ever supply us slabs.” Spokeswomen at US Steel and at Nucor each said their companies don’t comment on pending litigation. Cleveland-Cliffs also said it’s not their policy to comment on litigation, as per the Bloomberg report.