WASHINGTON, March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) applauded a preliminary determination of an anti-dumping investigation announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) that places duty orders on imports of cold-rolled flat steel products from Brazil, China, India, Korea, Russia, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Leo W. Gerard, USW International President declared: "Today's decision comes as welcome news to the steelworkers at American steel mills who produce cold-rolled flat steel products. It is one step forward in the fight by USW-represented members and the companies to make our nation's trade policies work better for working Americans."
He said more than 12,000 steelworkers are either on layoff or threatened by layoffs from the mushrooming steel import crisis. Those affected include taconite miners on the Iron Range of northern Minnesota and at dozens of idled steel-making facilities in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Kentucky and other industrial states.
The preliminary order announced on cold-rolled steel products will result in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) being instructed to require cash deposits based on the duty rates for cold-rolled steel imports from China and the other six countries until a final decision is made by the International Trade Commission (ITC) later this year.
"In addition to steelworkers, the steel import crisis hurts families, communities and our national economic security," Gerard stated.
"Steel has literally been the backbone of our great nation from the railroads that span America to the iron girders that support our office buildings, schools and bridges. Today's ruling is just one step in the fight to restore fair trade conditions for American-made cold-rolled steel products.
"Other industrial goods are under similar attack from foreign dumping and subsidies," Gerard adds. "One of the main causes of this crisis is global overcapacity largely fueled by China. The solution is not more talk, but strong rules and disciplines that are aggressively implemented and enforced by the U.S. government.
"Enforcing our trade laws isn't a gift, it's a right," Gerard said. "The system prioritizes negotiating new deals, not enforcing existing law. "It's well past time for action. The public is angry, the USW members are angry; all of America's unions are too -- for good reason."
The high volume of illegal, cold-rolled steel dumped in the U.S. market by China, Brazil, Japan and the other four countries was found to be substantial.
According to the government's determination, the duties are at 265.79 percent for Chinese steel imports of cold-rolled steel and will be imposed within the next week, but still must be confirmed in a final determination scheduled for this summer. Duties for Brazil companies are: 38.93 percent for CSN, 38.93 percent for Usiminas and all others.
Duties for Japan companies are: 71.35 percent for JFE, NSSMC and all others. Russian steel company duties are: 16.89 percent for NLMK, 12.62 percent for Severstal, plus all others are 14.76 percent. The United Kingdom companies are: 31.39 percent for Tata UK, 5.79 percent for Caparo, and 28.03 percent for all others.
The duty orders for India and South Korean steel companies are at single digit margins.
Cold-rolled steel products are used in appliances, automotive products, containers, industrial and agricultural equipment and construction.
Other steel trade cases under investigation from petitions filed with the U.S. government are import dumping by seven countries for hot-rolled steel products. A preliminary decision by the USDOC is due Mar. 14 with a final determination in late May. A third case for dumping and subsidization of corrosion-resistant steel imports from five countries at the USDOC is due for a final determination in late May.
Tom Conway, USW International Vice President, who is handling union contract negotiations in the steel sector, said: "Multiple steel producing countries are taking nearly one-third of the domestic market. Instead of making steel in an improved economy, American steelworkers and iron ore miners are on extended layoffs and our companies are losing market share with idled facilities."
Global overcapacity in steel and continued abuse of the system by foreign companies and their governments still requires a major overhaul of U.S. trade policy and enforcement, said Conway.
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/.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)