PITTSBURGH, Sept. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) has declared that today's final vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on duty orders for hot-rolled steel imports from seven countries, joins last week's vote on a separate trade case for cold-rolled steel to successfully conclude a year-long fight by American steel companies against these products.
"The trade commission final rulings will back-off the river of illegal steel imports," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard, "but these successful enforcement actions will hopefully return laid-off steelworkers suffering the consequences of slow trade justice at idled mills deeply damaged by imports."
He declared: "The tens-of-millions of dollars it cost American steelworkers in lost wages by imports will be evaluated between now and election day on how soon it brings production and jobs back in our steel-making communities. Enforcing our trade laws shouldn't always be the job of injured companies and their workers. Government needs to do more."
The USW president said, "Trade cases are only part of the solution. America's steelworkers need immediate, forceful action on the bigger crisis of global steel overcapacity. Aggressive trade action must come swiftly, especially for the permanent shutdown of China state-owned zombie steel mills that are our destroying industrial communities."
He warned the Administration that steelworkers will be voting in November on their jobs. "Despite the hard work of the Administration's negotiators, the G-20 statement this past Labor Day weekend falls far short of what's really needed. China is the single largest contributor to the glut of steel swamping world markets.
"China can't be allowed to again sit at a negotiating table to make commitments they have no intention of fulfilling. More empty promises will only lead to more empty factories."
The Congressional Steel Caucus wrote President Obama before he left last week on his trip to Hangzhou for the G-20 Summit asking that he secure the cooperation of China and pointing out the large number of downstream jobs that are dependent on steel.
Tom Conway, USW International Vice President, who participated in the trade case hearings and leads steel sector bargaining, said: "The final duty orders expand fairer pricing conditions on hot and cold-rolled steel products from four countries, combined with duties placed earlier this summer on the same steel import products from China and Japan."
The USITC final ruling on cold-rolled steel announced Sept. 2 applies to imports from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom. Conway noted the hot-rolled duty orders will also now be placed on dumped steel imports from six countries: Australia, Brazil, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
The duties by law will remain in effect for five years to address predatory dumping, or selling below cost in order to gain market share and injure domestic producers.
The USW said the hot-and-cold-rolled steel trade case enforcement action will come as good news to steelworkers among 16 steel making facilities that make the product in the industrial states of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Kentucky and the taconite miners on the Iron Range of northern Minnesota.
Many of these steelworkers and iron ore miners have exhausted unemployment eligibility, challenging food banks to meet rising demand and threatening home foreclosures. The Granite City steel works of U.S. Steel Corp. in Illinois has been idled since last year with 2,000 workers, along with miners on Minnesota's iron range.
The six steel corporations that filed the hot-rolled petition are: AK Steel Corp., Ohio; ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Ill.; Nucor Corporation, N.C.; SSAB Enterprises, LLC, Ill.; Steel Dynamics, Inc., Ind., and U.S. Steel Corp., Pa. The same companies also filed the cold-rolled case with the exception of SSAB Enterprises, LLC, Ill.
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/.
Contact: Gary Hubbard, 202-256-8125; email@example.com
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)