Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Steel Caucus seeks investigation of alleged Chinese pipe duty evasion

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The Congressional 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.

“It is 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. . . .

“Foreign 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.

“Therefore, we 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.”

 

Posted 11/30/2016

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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