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Congressional Steel Caucus takes aim against illegally dumped tubular steel

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U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, Vice-Chair of the Congressional Steel Caucus, has released a letter signed by 25 bipartisan members of Congress calling for enforcement action against illegally dumped and subsidized steel used in oil and natural gas production.

The letter, sent to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), supports efforts by domestic steelmakers like U.S. Steel to stop South Korea, India, and seven other countries from dumping unfairly traded “oil country tubular goods” (OCTG) onto the US market, according to a statement released on Friday.

“A surge in US oil and natural gas production has sparked increased demand for steel pipe,” the statement said. “This has led to a flood of cheap imports from countries such as Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and others that subsidize their export industries in violation of World Trade Organization rules. Imports of oil country tubular goods from the nine countries named by the Steel Caucus totaled nearly $1.8 billion in 2012, more than double their total in 2010, according to a Reuters report.”

The pending trade case is similar to a recent one involving OCTG imports from China, the statement noted. “In 2009, domestic pipe and tube steelmakers were shutting down because of a glut of unfairly traded imports. The Steel Caucus successfully worked with the ITC to impose antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese-made OCTG in 2010, helping the domestic industry to rebound. Since 2010, however, the import surge has shifted from China to other nations that keep their export prices artificially low through illegal subsidies and trade practices.”

“American steelworkers and domestic manufacturers have the skills and precision to compete with any foreign steel producers,” Visclosky said. “Throughout our region and around our country, we produce quality oil country tubular goods (OCTG) and we must ensure that inferior, subsidized steel from other nations is not illegally dumped in the U.S. This is a vital concern for our nation’s steel producers, workers, and our nation’s public safety. Furthermore, the ITC must ensure that these inferior subsidized OCTG products, from countries that willfully violate our nation's trade agreements, are not tolerated.”

The Steel Caucus is asking that the ITC apply the same kinds of duties to seamless and welded steel tubular energy drilling products from India, Korea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam. The letter also requests a “full and comprehensive investigation” of the unfair trade practices.

 

Posted 8/12/2013