USW Calls DOC Decision on Dumped Steel Concrete a Mixed Bag; Cites Need for Additional Funding for Trade Enforcement

Contact: Roy Houseman (202) 778-4384,  rhouseman@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) -- The United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard released the following statement today in regards to the U.S. Department of Commerce final investigation determination on dumped steel concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) from Mexico and Turkey.

“Yesterday’s final determination on dumped rebar is a mixed blessing at best. The Department of Commerce (DOC) made the correct decision in regard to producers based in Mexico by placing significant dumping margins on them, but we are dismayed that the much larger rebar producers in Turkey received no dumping margins.

“We need to do more to enforce our trade laws and to protect the jobs that are lost to unfair trade practices. When the American rebar industry sees a decrease in market share of 3 to 5 percent year after year, that means lost hours, pay, and jobs for U.S. workers. Combined with the fact that these mills are now only operating at a 60 percent capacity nationally, it results in a lot of good-paying jobs left unfilled. These are lost opportunities that our country can ill-afford as it seeks to rebuild its manufacturing base.

“Strong trade enforcement is more than just market share and import volume. Proper trade enforcement maintains a healthy and diverse economy where all workers can succeed.

“With trade cases, unfortunately, we have to win by losing. Too often, we first have to demonstrate lost jobs, lost market share and show that our employers are losing income and profitability. We have to demonstrate that we have been badly damaged or show how significant the threats are.

“Our trading partners have figured that out.

“So by the time a trade case is finally resolved, not only have we had to lose jobs at the start, but we continue to lose jobs as they continue to steal market share and damage our industry, not just for the short term, but for the long term as well.

“The USW recognizes the Commerce Department’s limitations as it is deals with the significant volume of trade cases against foreign countries attacking our jobs and manufacturers.  As was highlighted during a Senate Finance Committee trade enforcement hearing in June, nearly two-thirds of all of the DOC investigators’ time is being consumed addressing steel cases, once again reducing the ability for proper investigation to take place.  

“That is why the USW urges Secretary Pritzker to include additional funds for technical resources for the International Trade Administration in the president’s budget. They need to have the staff necessary to investigate these trade cases, determine the facts and define the proper remedies.

“America’s workers deserve better. This is a critical sector that is needed to help rebuild our nation’s economy and restore our nation’s infrastructure. We cannot afford to have foreign producers, like those in Turkey, dump their products into our market and get away with it.”

For the full text of the letter from USW International President Gerard to DOC Secretary Pritzer, Click Here.

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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