ITC Vote Puts Workers One Step Closer to Fairer Trade in Oil Country Tubular Goods

Contacts:  Holly Hart, (202) 778-4384, hhart@usw.org
                R.J Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450,    rhufnagel@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today after the International Trade Commission’s vote on oil country tubular goods (OCTG) dumped into the U.S. market:

“Today’s vote puts our domestic OCTG market one step closer to a level playing field for those products and the men and women who make them. It’s been a long road to get here and the effort is far from over. But this vote is another tribute to the workers who stood up, spoke out and fought for their jobs and fair trade.

“Enforcement of our trade laws is critical and we thank the commissioners at the ITC for agreeing.  Both they and the Department of Commerce have been inundated by the flood of unfairly traded goods into our markets. 

“Still, having our government enforce the laws should not be seen as a political gift to workers or as the grease needed to slip a trade agreement through Congress. Enforcement is our right and the agencies that enforce these laws should be robustly funded and staffed for their critical work.  Too often, when our laws are violated by our trading partners, it is workers and not their government who have to fight for what’s right.  

“Our government and Congress should take the lead on these issues. Until that time, we will continue to be confronted by a trade policy where we only win by losing due to our government’s misguided approach that requires workers and industries be injured before they can get relief.

“This fight is far from over.  But, with our allies in industry and the support of a broad bipartisan coalition in the House and Senate, we will fight for every ton of product and every job dependent on that production.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.  For more information: http://www.usw.org/.

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