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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An Invitation to Sunny Miami. What Could Be Bad?

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

If a billionaire “invites” you somewhere, you’d better go. Or be prepared to suffer the consequences. This past May, hedge fund kingpin Carl Icahn announced in a letter to his New York-based staff of about 50 that he would be moving his business operations to Florida. But the 83-year-old Icahn assured his staffers they had no reason to worry: “My employees have always been very important to the company, so I’d like to invite you all to join me in Miami.” Those who go south, his letter added, would get a $50,000 relocation benefit “once you have established your permanent residence in Florida.” Those who stay put, the letter continued, can file for state unemployment benefits, a $450 weekly maximum that “you can receive for a total of 26 weeks.” What about severance from Icahn Enterprises? The New York Post reported last week that the two dozen employees who have chosen not to uproot their families and follow Icahn to Florida “will be let go without any severance” when the billionaire shutters his New York offices this coming March. Bloomberg currently puts Carl Icahn’s net worth at $20.5 billion.

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