Chesterton Tribune



Visclosky urges ITC to maintain current antidumping measures on foreign steel

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U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, vice-chair of the Congressional Steel Caucus, testified on Thursday before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), urging the ITC to maintain the current countervailing and anti-dumping measures on hot-rolled steel products from China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine.

Excerpts from his testimony:

“I believe that the proper enforcement of our trade laws is vital to American steelworkers. What is at stake today are American steel jobs. Steel jobs take skill, know-how, innovation, and teamwork. They are jobs that provide a living-wage and allow workers to invest in their families and their communities. This is essential in the communities in the First Congressional District of Indiana, and in communities throughout America. . . .

“The orders before you cover dumped and subsidized hot-rolled steel from six countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine. As the Department of Commerce has already stated, the revocation of the anti-dumping duty orders would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping at margins as great as 90.83 percent, and the revocation of countervailing duty orders would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy at rates as great as 563.5 percent.

“There also are massive capacity increases throughout these countries and persistent patterns of unfair trading practices in other steel product lines. Specifically, it is estimated that hot-rolled steel capacity in China has grown from approximately 175 million metric tons in 2006 to approximately 385 million metric tons in 2012, and in India hot-rolled steel capacity has grown from approximately 16 million metric tons in 2006 to approximately 37 million metric tons in 2012. I would add that because of the depressed conditions of their own economies, removing our protections would release a flood of dumped and subsidized imports, leading again to material injury for American steel manufacturers and the loss of American jobs. . . .

“American steel is still recovering in this fragile economy. From 2007 to 2009, U.S. consumption of hot-rolled steel fell by over 43 percent and data from a previous Commission proceeding showed that in 2009, U.S. mills had an operating loss of $2.3 billion and 18 percent of the U.S. workforce making hot-rolled steel lost their jobs. As of last year, U.S. consumption had still not returned to 2007 levels, and as of last week, the Northwest Indiana Times, a local newspaper in my district, noted that U.S. Steel is predicted to lose money for the fourth consecutive quarter and ArcelorMittal is predicted to lose money for the fifth consecutive quarter.

“Members of the Commission, American steel jobs are at stake, and we must do all that we can to allow American workers to recover in this fragile economy without the fear of further injury from unfair trade. Therefore, I respectfully request that you keep these orders in place, and again, I thank you for your tireless work and for your fair and thorough consideration of this case.”



Posted 11/1/2013