PITTSBURGH, July 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Commerce made its decision to impose dumping margins against South Korean oil country tubular goods (OCTG) dumped into the United States:
"With this decision, the U.S. Commerce Department listened to thousands of hard-working Americans and took a stand for fairness on behalf of those workers and their employers.
"In the past few months, Steelworkers across the country rallied for a level playing field. Today their voices were heard. The Commerce Department is to be commended for getting it right and reversing their preliminary decision that would have allowed South Korean steel producers to continue breaking trade rules with no consequences.
"We are also proud that more than 200 members of Congress, including a majority of the Senate and over one-third of the House, voiced objection to the preliminary findings that South Korea was not breaking the law. We thank them for their leadership.
"Unfortunately, this decision is overdue. The Commerce Department erred in February by imposing duties on most of the OCTG imports from eight countries, but excluding South Korea, the largest source of dumped OCTG. South Korea produces virtually all of its OCTG for export, almost exclusively to undercut U.S. manufacturers.
"This practice has already caused serious harm to our domestic steel industry. Plants are being idled, workers are losing jobs and communities are suffering.
"We welcome this decision, and we believe the information that American workers and their employers will present to the International Trade Commission next week will provide further evidence that our trading partners are not playing by the rules.
"A nationwide call to action like we had this spring and summer should not be necessary to ensure that our trade laws are fully enforced. Time after time, the Steelworkers have no other option but to lead the fight for fair trade. In this fight, we are thankful that we were joined by U.S. Steel and other employers and unions. Labor and management joined together to demand fair play. Still, enforcing our laws should not be a hard-earned reward; it is our right. It's time for all of our leaders in Washington to stand with us and fight hard for fair – not just free – trade."
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/.
Gary Hubbard (202) 256-8125
Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)