Steel Caucus, vice-chaired by U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, is urging
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kerlikowske to fully
utilize trade enforcement tools provided by Congress.
The Caucus is
specifically concerned by what it calls the “recent non-initiation of an
investigation”--requested under the aegis of the Trade Facilitation and
Trade Enforcement Act of 2015--“of the alleged duty evasion of Circular
Welded Carbon Quality Steel Pipe from China,” according to a statement
released by Visclosky’s office on Tuesday.
“The Steel Caucus
is concerned that the failure to aggressively investigate and initiate
allegations of trade cheats will incite foreign competitors to continue to
evade our trade laws and deter domestic producers from filing evasion
claims,” the statement said.
disappointing that CPB has not allowed the legislative achievement of the
Congressional Steel Caucus and Congress to come to fruition,” Visclosky
said. “This law is designed to prevent unscrupulous actions on our borders
and it must be fully enforced. I will continue to work to ensure that we are
doing everything possible under our trade laws to support and defend
American steelworkers and steel-producing communities.”
Excerpts from a
letter forwarded to Kerlikowske:
“The U.S. steel
industry is facing a global overcapacity crisis and the need for strong
enforcement at our nation’s borders has never been greater. Data from the
Government Accountability Office estimates that between 2001 and 2014, there
was $2.3 billion in uncollected antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD)
by federal agencies for a variety of types of products. The influx of
foreign imports coupled with the lack of enforcement resources at our
federal agencies is devastating American steel companies and the communities
that they serve. . . .
competitors, such as China, use increasingly deceptive and fraudulent
tactics to evade appropriate duties as their steel products enter the U.S.
market. We are aware of the recent investigation of the alleged duty evasion
of Circular Welded Carbon Quality Steel Pipe (CWP) from China and are
concerned about the CBP’s non-initiation determination and what this will
mean for U.S. steel pipe producers and the communities that they serve. As
noted in the claim, it was alleged that over $80 million in duties were not
collected and further, these CWP imports prevented an opportunity for U.S.
steel pipe producers to serve valued customers. We are concerned that the
result of this decision may deter other parties from filing EAPA claims as a
way to seek trade remedy relief.
implore you to fully utilize all the enforcement and monitoring tools
provided under this new trade law to ensure that all imported products
covered by AD/CVD duties are entered in compliance of current law. This is
essential to ensure that American companies and workers receive the full
benefits of this important law. We are concerned that failure to
aggressively investigate and initiate allegations of trade cheats will
incite foreign competitors to continue to evade our trade laws and deter
domestic producers from filing evasion claims.”