United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo Gerard confirmed today
that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) voted unanimously on
Monday to continue tariffs on cut-to-length steel plate (CTLP) imports from
Korea, India, and Indonesia for another five years, while revoking the
orders for plate from Japan and Italy.
According to the ITC, the existing antidumping and countervailing duty
orders on steel plate from the three countries is being maintained because
ending the tariffs would likely lead to recurrence of material injury. The
duties were first placed on steel plate imports in 1999 and a first sunset
review was held in 2005. The vote was a second review as required by the
Uruguay Round Agreements Act.
Gerard noted that each of the steel producing countries argued for ending
the tariffs but said that the ITC’s strong vote demonstrates the domestic
industry’s ongoing efforts to recover from a weak market. “Five American
steel producers operating plate mills in seven states and employing about
4,000 steelworkers were threatened if the duty orders were not kept in
place,” Gerard said.
Gerard commended the delegation of 17 USW steelworkers who make plate at
mills in Pennsylvania and Indiana for attending the ITC sunset review
hearing in Washington, D.C. this past October. Gerard also praised in
particular the testimony of USW Local 6787 Vice President Pete Trinidad..
“The last decade has been a real roller coaster ride for our members who
make cut-to-length plate,” Trinidad testified at the time. “They have faced
bankruptcies, plant closures, layoffs, forced retirements, lost wages, and
reductions in pension and health care benefits.”
Trinidad also reported to the ITC that plate orders gradually picked up in
May 2010, showing the importance of the import tariffs. In August of this
year, Trinidad noted, a second crew was hired but new demand has not yet
developed. “Every ton of dumped plate that is allowed to enter our market is
a ton of plate that steelworkers at Burns Harbor won’t get to make,” he