The United Steelworkers (USW) is hailing Monday’s ruling by the Department
of Commerce’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) Board.
That ruling “preserves the effectiveness of U.S. trade remedy laws and trade
orders,” the USW said on Tuesday.
“This is a very big win for us,” USW International President Leo Gerard
said. “The ruling upholds the validity of the trade remedy laws because it
does not let the FTZ system be used to undermine valid antidumping or
countervailing duty orders. If we had lost, it would have created a very big
loophole—a loophole that would have given a boost to unfairly traded imports
while undermining the effectiveness of the trade laws and trade orders.”
“It also would have cost good manufacturing jobs for our members producing
silicon metal at Globe Specialty Metal facilities in Niagara Falls, N.Y.,
and in West Alloy, W.V.,” Gerard added.
Originally two companies, Dow Corning and REC Silicon, filed applications
with the FTZ Board to get special zone status to avoid the payment of
antidumping duties on imported silicon metal from China and Russia, the USW
said. “The companies claimed that not having to pay antidumping duties on
these imports would not harm the domestic supplier of silicon metal, Globe
Specialty Metal, but the USW along with Globe fought back showing that Globe
and USW members would be harmed if they had to compete against dumped
silicon metal and that U.S. trade laws would be made ineffective if
companies simply could obtain special FTZ status to end-run legitimate trade
“The domestic silicon metal industry has been hard hit in the past from
dumping from China and Russia and had fought to get those antidumping orders
in place,” the USW said. “At the time of the filing of the FTZ applications,
the New York plant had been shut down after bankruptcy and was just coming
back on line. Some 100 USW members went back to work and 300 more
manufacturing jobs are expected in the future at the facility.”
The FTZ Board preliminarily ruled against both companies, and thereafter REC
Silicon dropped its request and agreed to pay the antidumping duties on
silicon metal imported from China and Russia.
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America and has 850,000
members in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. It represents workers
employed in metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, atomic energy
and the service sector.