The US Commerce Department announced Friday that it initiated trade probes against imports of electrical steel products from seven foreign countries. The products under investigation are flat-rolled alloy steel products used in electric power industry, whose technical name is grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES), the department said in a statement. The investigations are in response to a request from two steel producers in the United States, AK Steel Corporation based in the state of Ohio and Allegheny Ludlum based in the state of Pennsylvania, and the United Steelworkers, an industrial labor union of steelworkers based in Pittsburgh, a city in Pennsylvania. They alleged that those electrical steel products from China, Czech, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Poland and Russia were sold below the fair value of the products in the U.S. market at dumping margins ranging from 38.54 percent to 257.61 percent, and those from China received improper government subsidies. Consequently, the department decided to launch anti-dumping duty investigations against the products from the above mentioned seven countries and a countervailing duty inquiry against products from China. The International Trade Commission (ITC), the U.S. trade authority, was scheduled to make its preliminary inquiry determination around Nov. 20. The probes will continue if the ITC determines that the imports of electrical steel products from the seven countries materially injure or threaten the U.S. domestic industry. The Commerce Department will then make its determination of improper dumping or subsidies later this year or early next year. Imports of GOES from China were estimated at 1.2 million U.S. dollars last year, while the imports of the products from Japan were estimated at 38.2 million dollars, according to the Commerce Department.