PITTSBURGH, Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) confirmed a unanimous vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to sustain anti-dumping duties on steel plate imports from China that are protecting thousands of American union steelworker jobs at plate mills in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Louisiana.
USW President Leo W. Gerard said: "Enforcement proceedings against dumped and subsidized steel products from China are critical if America is to have a steel industry supporting good jobs. We currently have hundreds of steelworkers on extended layoffs at plate mills from the glut of rising steel imports."
According to Vonie Long, USW Local 1165 President representing 600 steelworkers at the ArcelorMittal plate mill in Coatesville, PA, about 325 are now on layoff. "Our steel plate goes into American infrastructure like bridges and buildings, including the Walt Whitman Suspension Bridge across the Delaware River in Philly, the new Tappan Zee Bridge that crosses the Hudson River in New York and the new Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center."
Last month, Holly Hart, USW Legislative Director, testified in Washington, D.C. before a hearing of the USITC. Under international trade laws, existing duties in place for five years must go through a review investigation and hearing to determine if revocation would lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and injury.
She said thousands of USW members in the cut-to-length plate industry work at the ArcelorMittal mills in Pennsylvania at Coatesville, and Conshohocken, plus Burns Harbor (IN). "In the first half of 2015, both hours worked and wages were reduced by the flood of unfair steel plate imports. Earlier this year, ArcelorMittal-USA notified the USW that the plate mill in Gary, Indiana would be permanently shut-down."
Hart said the American steel industry and steelworkers are under siege by surging steel imports. The USW has joined steel makers in filing additional trade cases this year against illegal and unfair imports of corrosion-resistant steel, cold-rolled and hot-rolled imports from China.
The USITC ruling issued yesterday on steel plate imports includes maintaining suspension orders on steel plate from Russia and Ukraine.
Recently Workers Uniting, a partnership between the USW and Unite the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, announced strong opposition to any move by the European Union (EU) to grant Market Economy Status (MES) to China -- a status that affects the amount of antidumping duties that the EU may impose on Chinese imports sold at below market value.
"Such a change in China's status as a trading partner could have a devastating effect on the manufacturing sector in Europe as well as in North America," said USW President Gerard. "The focus of government leaders on both continents should be on leveling the playing field for workers, not on relaxing standards for countries that already refuse to play by the rules."
The full Workers Uniting statement is at http://usw.to/4d/.
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 protected]
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)