Chesterton Tribune

Steel Caucus urges ITC to maintain duty orders on imports of cut-to-length plate

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Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Tim Murphy, D-Pa., Vice-chair Pete Visclosky, D-1st, and 23 other co-signers are urging the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to maintain the duty orders against unfairly traded imports of cut-to-length carbon steel plate.

In a letter, the Caucus advised the ITC to uphold anti-dumping and countervailing duties to stop India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and Korea from sending dumped and government-subsidized carbon steel plate to the U.S. market.

The order is scheduled to sunset at the end of this year.

“Imports of cut-to-length steel plate from these countries were less than 100,000 tons in 2010, a reduction of 90 percent from the year prior to the filing of the petitions,” according to a statement released by Visclosky’s office. “This demonstrates the effectiveness of the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties to level the playing field against unfair trade practices. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Commerce has already determined that if the orders are revoked, plate from these countries would again enter the United States at subsidized or dumped prices.”

U.S. industry producing cut-to-length steel plate originally filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against imports from these countries and France in February 1999 after imports of cut-to-length steel plate from these countries reached over 1 million tons in 1998. This is the second review of these orders, following a 2005 review in which the Commission voted to continue the orders against five countries and to sunset the order as to France.

“As a result of the global economic recession, demand for cut-to-length steel plate dropped to historic lows in the United States and around the world.” the Steel Caucus states in its letter. Meanwhile, “plate producers in India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and Korea continue to increase production well in excess of demand and continue to add new capacity, resulting in significant oversupply and overcapacity in the world plate market. Given the current state of the domestic industry and the ability of these countries to send significant quantities of plate to the U.S. market, removing the existing trade orders would result in significant exports of plate to the United States and devastation to the domestic industry.”

“Especially in our current economic climate, we cannot afford to put our manufacturers at a further disadvantage by repealing necessary duties,” Visclosky said. “By allowing foreign countries to flood the domestic marketplace with steel plate, we will devastate our American steel producers who are already struggling. The ITC must uphold the duty orders on cut-to-length carbon steel plate in order to protect our domestic steel manufacturers and the many jobs they create.”

The Congressional Steel Caucus is a bipartisan group of 100 members of Congress representing districts with steel manufacturers and the domestic steel supply chain. Through legislation, roundtable discussions, and hearings, the Steel Caucus focuses on the needs of the steel industry and what it takes to level the playing field for employers and preserve American jobs.



Posted 10/31/2011