Business and Economics

Steel Caucus Calls On Feds To Stop Korean Steel Dumping

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June 12, 2014 —  Congressional Steel Caucus Vice Chairman Pete Visclosky (D-1) joined Chairman Tim Murphy in leading 153 other lawmakers to urge the U.S. Department of Commerce to hold Korea accountable for illegally dumping oil and gas drill pipe onto the American market.

Detailed in a letter sent Friday to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the lawmakers urge the Administration to reverse a February 2014 decision that permitted Korea to continue dumping unfairly-traded “oil country tubular goods” onto the US market. The dumping has led to shift cutbacks at plants in Kentucky and the indefinite closure of US Steel plants in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and Bellville, Texas.

The US market was one of the few bright spots for the domestic steel industry due to the growth in shale gas exploration. OCTG accounts for approximately ten percent of domestic steel production and nearly 8,000 jobs. However, foreign OCTG has doubled since 2008. Steel pipe and tube from Korea, which does not even have a domestic market for OCTG, has increased by 1,000% in the past four years.

“This is a pivotal time for the American steelworkers, as foreign competitors are stopping at nothing to flood our markets with cheap steel.  We must do more to enforce our trade laws, defend American manufacturing, and protect the thousands of steelworker jobs in Northwest Indiana,” said Congressional Steel Caucus Vice Chairman Pete Visclosky.

“The Administration must enforce the law and put an end to Korean trade crimes that are costing American workers their jobs. Since August, the Congressional Steel Caucus has sounded the alarm in hearings, in letters, and at rallies with workers. I hope the Administration will finally wake up and see the damage to our economy caused by Korean trade crimes,” said Steel Caucus Chairman Tim Murphy.

The Steel Caucus began this battle against unfairly-traded imports of Korean steel in August 2013, when the Caucus sent a letter calling on the International Trade Commission to open an investigation into Korean trade crimes.

The text of the letter, which can also be read online here, is as follows:

The Honorable Penny Pritzker

Secretary of Commerce

U.S. Department of Commerce

14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C.  20230

 

Dear Secretary Pritzker:

 

We write to express concern over the Commerce Department’s preliminary determination in the antidumping investigation of Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) imports from Korea.  As the Department continues its investigation, we ask that you fully consider the domestic industry’s allegations and take action against any unfair dumping to the fullest extent of the law.

 

The discovery and production of shale gas in the United States is a strategic benefit for both America’s economic and energy security. Yet as new domestic oil and natural gas resources fuel demand for steel products like OCTG, U.S. steel producers are being undercut by foreign competitors.  Imports of OCTG have doubled since 2008 and increased by 61 percent thus far in 2014 compared to the previous year.  Korea, which has no domestic market for OCTG, accounts for almost half of this import surge.

 

U.S. steel producers employ 8,000 workers across the country making OCTG.  Each of these jobs supports seven additional jobs in the supply chain and the steel produced for the U.S. energy market accounts for approximately ten percent of domestic production.  Addressing unfairly traded imports is essential to ensuring that U.S. OCTG producers have a level playing field on which to compete.  One steel company has already reduced hours at three American facilities and idled another as a result of surging OCTG imports. We have been told that more reductions and layoffs could occur.

 

As this case proceeds, we urge you to ensure that the Department’s investigation is objective and accurate and to closely verify the information submitted by the Korean producers.  Strict and full enforcement of our trade laws is essential for the future of the U.S. steel industry, its workers, and steel communities throughout the country.

 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Tim Murphy, Steel Caucus Chairman

Peter J. Visclosky, Steel Caucus Vice Chairman

 

Additional signers:

Aderholt, Robert

Bachus, Spencer

Barletta, Lou

Bass, Karen

Beatty, Joyce

Benishek M.D., Dan

Bentivolio, Kerry

Bishop, Rob

Bishop, Sanford

Blackburn, Marsha

Blumenauer, Earl

Bonamici, Suzanne

Brady, Bob

Braley, Bruce

Brooks, Mo

Brown, Corrine

Bustos, Cheri

Butterfield, G. K.

Byrne, Bradley

Capito, Shelley Moore

Carson, André

Cartwright, Matt

Castro, Joaquin

Clyburn, James

Coble, Howard

Cohen, Steve

Conyers, John

Courtney, Joe

Crawford, Rick

Davis, Danny K.

Davis, Rodney

DeFazio, Peter

DeGette, Diana

DeLauro, Rosa

Dent, Charles W.

Diaz-Balart, Mario

Dingell, John

Doggett, Lloyd

Doyle, Mike

Duckworth, Tammy

Edwards, Donna F.

Ellison, Keith

Enyart, William L.

Esty, Elizabeth

Farr, Sam

Fitzpatrick, Mike

Flores, Bill

Fortenberry, Jeff

Foster, Bill

Fudge, Marcia

Garamendi, John

Gerlach, Jim

Gibbs, Bob

Gibson, Chris

Gohmert, Louie

Green, Al

Green, Gene

Griffin, Tim

Guthrie, Brett

Hall, Ralph

Hanabusa, Colleen

Heck, Denny

Higgins, Brian

Himes, Jim

Holt, Rush

Johnson, Bill

Johnson, Eddie Bernice

Johnson, Hank

Jones, Walter

Joyce, David P.

Kaptur, Marcy

Kelly, Mike

Kelly, Robin

Kildee, Dan

Kinzinger, Adam

Kirkpatrick, Ann

Kuster, Ann McLane

Lamborn, Doug

Lankford, James

Larsen, Rick

Latta, Bob

Lipinski, Dan

Loebsack, Dave

Long, Billy

Lowenthal, Alan

Lujan Grisham, Michelle

Luján, Ben Ray

Lummis, Cynthia M.

Matheson, Jim

McCollum, Betty

McGovern, James P.

McKinley, David

McNerney, Jerry

Meehan, Pat

Messer, Luke

Michaud, Mike

Miller, Candice

Miller, George

Moore, Gwen

Napolitano, Grace

Nolan, Rick

Nugent, Richard

Nunnelee, Alan

Owens, Bill

Pascrell, Bill

Pastor, Ed

Perlmutter, Ed

Peters, Gary

Peterson, Colin

Pittenger, Robert

Pocan. Mark

Rahall, Nick

Reed, Tom

Renacci, Jim

Rice, Tom

Richmond, Cedric

Rogers, Mike (MI)

Rokita, Todd

Rothfus, Keith

Roybal-Allard, Lucille

Ruppersberger, Dutch

Ryan, Tim (OH)

Sanchez, Linda

Schakowsky, Jan

Schwartz, Allyson

Sewell, Terri

Shea-Porter, Carol

Shimkus, John

Shuster, Bill

Sinema, Kyrsten

Sires, Albio

Smith, Adam

Smith, Adrian

Smith, Jason

Southerland, Steve

Stivers, Steve

Stockman, Steve

Stutzman, Marlin

Terry, Lee

Thompson, Glenn “GT”

Tiberi, Pat

Tipton, Scott

Tonko, Paul

Turner, Michael

Vargas, Juan

Walberg, Tim

Walorski, Jackie

Whitfield, Ed

Wilson, Frederica

Wilson, Joe

Yarmuth, John

Young, Todd

 

Source: U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky

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