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

Failing Bridges Hold Public Hostage

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) gave the public just a few hours’ notice before closing a major bridge in March, citing significant safety concerns.

The West Seattle Bridge functioned as an essential component of  the city’s local and regional transportation network, carrying 125,000 travelers a day while serving Seattle’s critical maritime and freight industries. Closing it was a huge blow to the city and its citizens. 

Yet neither Seattle’s struggle with bridge maintenance nor the inconvenience now facing the city’s motorists is unusual. Decades of neglect left bridges across the country crumbling or near collapse, requiring a massive investment to keep traffic flowing safely.

When they opened it in 1984, officials predicted the West Seattle Bridge would last 75 years.

But in 2013, cracks started appearing in the center span’s box girders, the main horizontal support beams below the roadway. These cracks spread 2 feet in a little more than two weeks, prompting the bridge’s closure.

And it’s still at risk of falling.  

The city set up an emergency alert system so those in the “fall zone” could be quickly evacuated if the bridge deteriorates to the point of collapse.

More than one-third of U.S. bridges similarly need repair work or replacement, a reminder of America’s urgent need to invest in long-ignored infrastructure.

Fixing or replacing America’s bridges wouldn’t just keep Americans moving. It would also provide millions of family-supporting jobs for steel and cement workers, while also boosting the building trades and other industries.

With bridges across the country close to failure and millions unemployed, America needs a major infrastructure campaign now more than ever.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work