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U.S. steps closer to slapping duties on stainless steel sheet from China

WASHINGTON, Feb 2(Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday stepped closer to placing duties on imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China, issuing a final determination that the products were being subsidized and dumped in the U.S. market at below fair value.

The department said it affirmed antidumping duties ranging from 63.86 percent to 76.64 percent on the imports, and an anti-subsidy rate of 75.60 percent for mandatory respondent Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel Co Ltd.

The duties will go into effect for five years if the U.S. International Trade Commision subsequently affirms its earlier finding that U.S. producers were being harmed.

AK Steel Corp, Allegheny Ludlum (IPO-ALGL.N), North American Stainless and Outokumpu Stainless USA had brought the case seeking relief. Imports of the products from China were valued at an estimated $302 million in 2015, according to the department.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled to make its final determination of injury to U.S. producers on or about March 20.

(Reporting by Timothy Ahmann)