USW Flags U.S. Prelim Duties on Steel Imports

Cold-rolled steel from Brazil, China, India & Russia cited

17 Dec, 2015, 11:08 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today responded to the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) announcement of preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports for certain cold-rolled steel flat product imports from Brazil, China, India and Russia.

"Our government's investigation of cold rolled steel imports is a small step toward the immediate action America's steel industry needs against the continued job stealing by foreign government illegal subsidization and the resulting steel flooding into our markets," USW President Leo W. Gerard declared.

"State-owned steel companies in China have grossly expanded steel production capacity to stratospheric, uncontrolled levels that are wrecking American steelworkers' jobs and the communities where they live. We now have thousands of layoffs at the iron ore mines in Minnesota plus the steel mills in Granite City, Ill., Birmingham, Ala., and northern Indiana as families enter the year-end holiday season."

He flagged the Commerce Department's determination order that among the countries investigated, an extraordinarily high subsidy duty rate of 227 percent was being placed on all cold-rolled products exported by Chinese companies.

According to the order announced late yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be instructed to require cash deposits based on the duty rates for steel imports from China and three other countries: Brazil (7.42 percent), India (4.45 percent) and Russia (6.33 percent – with the exception of the Severstal Companies). A negative determination was found for steel from South Korea.

Tom Conway, USW Vice President, who is currently leading negotiations with several domestic steel companies under extension agreements, said: "Tens-of-thousands of American steelworkers should know their jobs and the industry will get some protection from this preliminary duty order from our government to level the playing field for steel sold in our market."

He added: "We especially appreciate the Commerce Department's naming several mandatory foreign respondent companies in China as big violators of our trade laws." Among them were: Angang Group Hong Kong Co., Ltd.; Benxi Iron and Steel (Group) Special Steel Co., Ltd.; and Qian'an Golden Point Trading Co., Ltd.

Conway said the duty rates on the Chinese companies followed a U.S. determination that the government of the People's Republic of China did not fully cooperate in the investigation by failing to respond to requests for information on their export tonnage. He explained the USDOC found 'critical circumstance' for the named Chinese company violators, requiring U.S. Customs to impose provisional measures retroactively on steel flat products for up to 90 days prior to the effective date of the federal order.

The petitions in the U.S. trade case were filed in July by AK Steel Corp., ArcelorMittal USA, Nucor Corp., Steel Dynamics Inc., and United States Steel Corp. Final determination orders are due next May by the USDOC and the U.S. International Trade Commission. The investigations are for certain cold-rolled, flat steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated, and include coils of 12.7 mm or greater.

The total value of cold-rolled steel imports from the five investigated countries in 2014 was $896.8 million.

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/.

CONTACTS: Gary Hubbard: (202) 256-8125; ghubbard@usw.org

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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)



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