The United Steelworkers (USW) said that the Oct. 10 affirmative ruling by the U.S. Trade Commission (ITC) on retention of tariffs of hot-rolled steel imports from China, India, Indonesia and three other countries is the correct outcome, based on the facts presented by the union and the domestic steel companies at a public hearing held in July.
"American steelworkers and the companies employing them produce world class steel, but the predatory practices and government subsidization policies by some of the largest foreign steel producers are illegally dumped," declared Leo W. Gerard, USW president.
According to the ITC rulings, the six commissioners made affirmative determinations to retain tariffs on imports from China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine. Negative determinations to remove import tariffs were made for Argentina, Kazakhstan, Romania and South Africa.
The USW president said domestic producers sell more hot-rolled steel than any other flat-rolled product. "Hot-rolled steel is without question one of the most vital steel products made in the U.S. Not only is hot-rolled steel used in automotive and construction applications, among others, but it is processed internally to make corrosion resistant steel, cold-rolled steel, tin mill, steel pipe and tube."
Tom Conway, USW vice president, also appeared before the ITC, saying the threat to domestic steel producers is greater now than it was during 2000 -- the last full year before the orders at issue were imposed. He cited China's production was only 72% of U.S. production, but this year, China's production will equal 374% of U.S. production. "China's record leaves absolutely no doubt that it will flood this market if it gets the chance."