Commerce Department Launches Another Anti-Dumping Investigation into Steel Products

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

The battle against dumped steel imports wages on.

On Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced his department is initiating an investigation into cold-drawn mechanical tubing imports from countries including China, Germany, Italy, India, South Korea and Switzerland.

The antidumping and countervailing duty investigation is in response to a petition filed by several companies looking for relief from dumped and subsidized imports. Those petitioners -- ArcelorMittal Tubular Products, Michigan Seamless Tube, LLC., PTC Alliance Corp., Webco Industries, Inc., and Zekelman Industries, Inc., -- are seeking margins ranging from 12 percent to 209.06 percent.

According to the companies, imports from these countries are priced extremely low and often subsidized by the countries where they originate. American producers, who operate in an open-market, can compete in terms of quality of product – but cannot do so when the game is rigged.  

“The prices we see from countries that are the subject of this case have been incredibly low, often at levels that are below our cost to manufacture,” said Ed Vore, chief executive officer of ArcelorMittal Tubular Products North America. “That means that to make that sale, we could have to sell the product at a price that does not even cover all of our variable costs.”

There’s no doubt that imports are soaring. In 2016, cold-drawn mechanical tubing imports from Germany reached $38.8 million, followed by China at $29.4 million and Switzerland at $26.2 million. All total, the imports from countries named in the petition reached $152.6 million.

“Imports from the subject countries have made significant inroads into our volumes and market share, using extremely low prices,” Vore said. “Our lost volume has nothing to do with an inability of ArcelorMittal to supply the quality or product range our customers require – we do that well. … What prevented us from selling adequate volumes has been the extremely low prices of the subject merchandise.”

This investigation is just the latest led by the Commerce Department into unfair steel imports; the agency has initiated investigations into 34 separately alleged subsidy programs in China alone. It’s a consequence of China’s massive steel overcapacity, which is creating a global crisis.

The Commerce Department has overseen dozens of investigations over steel imports under both the Obama and Trump administrations. President Trump recently launched national security investigations into steel and aluminum imports because of the ongoing crisis.  

This specific case now heads to the International Trade Commission, which is set to make a preliminary injury determination by June 5. If the ruling is in the affirmative, the Commerce Department will then announce preliminary duties.

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Reposted from AAM.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work