Chesterton Tribune



Visclosky and Steel Caucus take aim at unfairly traded Korean tubular goods

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U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, vice-chair of the Congressional Steel Caucus, has joined Chair Tim Murphy in leading 153 other lawmakers to urge the U.S. Department of Commerce to hold Korea accountable for illegally dumping oil and gas drill pipe onto the American market.

In a letter sent last week to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the lawmakers urge the Administration to reverse a February 2014 decision permitting Korea to continue dumping unfairly-traded “oil country tubular goods” (OCTG) onto the U.S. market. “The dumping has led to shift cutbacks at plants in Kentucky and the indefinite closure of U.S. Steel plants in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and Bellville, Texas,” according to the letter.

The U.S. market was one of the few bright spots for the domestic steel industry due to the growth in shale gas exploration and OCTG accounts for approximately ten percent of domestic steel production and nearly 8,000 jobs, Visclosky’s office said. “However, foreign OCTG has doubled since 2008. Steel pipe and tube from Korea, which does not even have a domestic market for OCTG, has increased by 1,000 percent in the past four years.”

“This is a pivotal time for the American steelworkers, as foreign competitors are stopping at nothing to flood our markets with cheap steel,” Visclosky said. “We must do more to enforce our trade laws, defend American manufacturing, and protect the thousands of steelworker jobs in Northwest Indiana.”

“The Administration must enforce the law and put an end to Korean trade crimes that are costing American workers their jobs,” Murphy added. “Since August, the Congressional Steel Caucus has sounded the alarm in hearings, in letters, and at rallies with workers. I hope the Administration will finally wake up and see the damage to our economy caused by Korean trade crimes.”

The Steel Caucus began this battle in August 2013, when the Caucus sent a letter calling on the International Trade Commission to open an investigation into Korean trade practices.



Posted 6/16/2014