Government

Portman, Brown Seek Action on Korean OCTG Imports

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have written Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging him to address unfair trade practices by Korean producers of Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG).

American OCTG producers affected by unfair trade include U.S. Steel in Lorain, Vallourec Star in Youngstown, Wheatland Tube in Warren and TMK IPSCO in Brookfield.

“We urge you to use the administrative review process to thoroughly investigate the extent to which Korean OCTG imports are being sold in the U.S. at below market prices,” said Portman and Brown. “If Korean producers’ unfair trade practices are not addressed, more U.S. steel companies will idle their facilities and more U.S. steelworkers will lose their jobs.”

Here is the text of their letter:
We write regarding the Commerce Department’s administrative review of the antidumping margins on Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) from Korea.  This case is critical to U.S. OCTG producers, and we urge you to ensure that the final determination in the administrative review accurately reflects Korean producers’ unfair trade practices and creates a level playing field for U.S. steel companies and their workers.

The U.S. OCTG industry is still struggling as a result of a flood of unfairly traded OCTG imports, first from China and then from Korea.  Multiple facilities in the sector have idled or closed.   We were disappointed that the preliminary determination in the administrative review reduced margins on Korean OCTG imports.  As a result, Korean producers began flooding the market immediately.  In September 2016, 12,689 metric tons of Korean OCTG imports entered the U.S.  The next month, when the preliminary margins went into effect, 50,837 metric tons of Korean OCTG imports came into our market.  The first two months of this year, import volumes increased even more, to approximately 80,000 metric tons in each month.

Unless proper dumping margins are in place, this flood of foreign imports will grow and will continue to threaten U.S. producers.  We urge you to use the administrative review process to thoroughly investigate the extent to which Korean OCTG imports are being sold in the U.S. at below market prices.  If Korean producers’ unfair trade practices are not addressed, more U.S. steel companies will idle their facilities and more U.S. steelworkers will lose their jobs.

Thank you for your consideration of this request, and we look forward to working with you to strengthen U.S. trade enforcement.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.