Steel Caucus Calls On Feds To Stop Korean Steel Dumping
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.
Tim Murphy, Steel Caucus Chairman
Peter J. Visclosky, Steel Caucus Vice Chairman
Benishek M.D., Dan
Butterfield, G. K.
Capito, Shelley Moore
Davis, Danny K.
Dent, Charles W.
Edwards, Donna F.
Enyart, William L.
Johnson, Eddie Bernice
Joyce, David P.
Kuster, Ann McLane
Lujan Grisham, Michelle
Luján, Ben Ray
Lummis, Cynthia M.
McGovern, James P.
Rogers, Mike (MI)
Ryan, Tim (OH)
Thompson, Glenn “GT”
Source: U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky