Trade Commission Rules to Continue Anti-Dumping Duties on Steel

WASHINGTON — The U.S. International Trade Commission on Wednesday determined that revoking existing antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of steel products from China, India, Italy, South Korea, and Taiwan would likely injure U.S. producers.

According to the commission’s ruling, lifting the duties now would likely “lead to material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time,” according to a press release issued by the commission.
As a result of the commission’s decision, the existing orders on imports of this product from China, India, Italy, South Korea, and Taiwan will remain in place for another five years.

Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, Randolph J. Stayin, and Amy A. Karpel voted to continue the duties.

Today’s action comes under the five-year sunset review process required by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

“For too long, trade cheats have shuttered plants across our state, put Ohioans out of work, and distorted global markets,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said in a statement. “Ohio steel can compete with anyone if they have a level playing field. This ruling is an important step toward that. It will help keep Ohio workers on the job and make clear the U.S. takes these harmful practices seriously.”
Brown testified before the commission in May, urging the body to continue the duties on flat-rolled steel products.

“If dumped and subsidized steel imports are once again allowed to come into the U.S. market unchecked, it will be impossible for American companies to generate the returns necessary to pay workers family-sustaining wages and to make the huge capital investments required for the continued competitiveness of U.S. mills,” Brown said Brown during his testimony May 25. “I’ve been to Cleveland-Cliffs’ mills. These are some of the most skilled and dedicated workers anywhere. But they can’t compete against dumped and subsidized imports, no matter how hard they work.”

Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs, said the ruling is a victory for the industry and will help ensure U.S. companies can compete fairly.

“We are pleased with the U.S. International Trade Commission’s unanimous determination today,” he said. “Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest domestic producer of corrosion-resistant steels that predominantly serve the automotive industry and the continuation of these orders will ensure that unfairly traded imports do not surge into the U.S. causing major distortions in the domestic market.”

Goncalves said he appreciated the support of Ohio Sens. Brown and Republican Rob Portman, as well as many other Senate and House Steel Caucus members.

Another sunset review is pending on cold-rolled steel products, he noted.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.