Commerce Goes After Third-Country Steel Imports, Originating in China

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

The Alliance for American Manufacturing often points out that China’s profligate steel production is the leading cause of global steel overcapacity, and that efforts should be made to safeguard the domestic industry from a flood of imports.

Busters, meanwhile, often say China doesn’t export much steel to the United States.

But that’s in part because China is running certain steel products through third-party countries where they are superficially processed, and then sent to the United States for sale.

It’s basically a clever way to avoid tariffs assigned by the U.S. Commerce Department on certain Chinese steel products.

That’s what Commerce decided today, when it assigned duties to steel products from Vietnam. Reuters reports:

The Commerce Department said it would apply the same Chinese anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rates on corrosion-resistant and cold-rolled steel from Vietnam that starts out as Chinese-made hot-rolled steel.

Although the product was processed in Vietnam to be made corrosion resistant or cold-rolled for use in autos or appliances, the Commerce Department agreed with the claims of American producers that as much as 90 percent of the product’s value originated from China.

And get this:

The Commerce Department said that after anti-dumping duties were imposed on Chinese steel products in 2015, shipments of cold-rolled steel from Vietnam into the United States shot up to $295 million annually from $11 million.

The U.S. ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, recently told CNBC that President Trump was firm regarding the bilateral trade gap in discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

We sure hope so. Making sure pass-through countries aren’t facilitating China’s steel overcapacity is a good move, but they should really just step up with a tough Section 232 ruling already.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

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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. 

A rash of water main breaks in West Berkeley, Calif., and neighboring cities last month flooded streets and left at least 300 residents without water. Routine pressure adjustments in response to water demand likely caused more than a dozen pipes, some made of clay and more than 100 years old, to rupture.

West Berkeley’s brittle mains are not unique. Decades of neglect left aging pipes susceptible to breaks in communities across the U.S., wasting two trillion gallons of treated water each year as these systems near collapse.

Comprehensive upgrades to the nation’s crumbling water systems would stanch the flow and ensure all Americans have reliable access to clean water.

Nationwide, water main breaks increased 27 percent between 2012 and 2018, according to a Utah State University study.  

These breaks not only lead to service disruptions  but also flood out roads, topple trees and cause illness when drinking water becomes contaminated with bacteria.

The American Water Works Association estimated it will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years to upgrade and expand water infrastructure.

Some local water utilities raised their rates to pay for system improvements, but that just hurts poor consumers who can’t pay the higher bills.

And while Congress allocates money for loans that utilities can use to fix portions of their deteriorating systems, that’s merely a drop in the bucket—a fraction of what agencies need for lasting improvements.

America can no longer afford a piecemeal approach to a systemic nationwide crisis. A major, sustained federal commitment to fixing aging pipes and treatment plants would create millions of construction-related jobs while ensuring all Americans have safe, affordable drinking water.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work