n advance of a hearing of the U.S. International Trade Commission tomorrow, Congressman Tim Murphy spearheaded a letter co-signed by 13 of his colleagues in the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation urging the Commission to find that domestic seamless standard, line, and pressure pipe manufacturers have been injured by China's illegally and unfairly dumped and subsidized seamless line pipe imports. An affirmative determination of injury by the Commission would pave the way for U.S. producers and workers in the seamless line pipe industry to benefit from relief provided by anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws. The following is the text of the letter and the list of its cosigners:
September 13, 2010
The Honorable Deanna Tanner Okun
U.S. International Trade Commission
500 E Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20436
RE: Certain Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe from China, Inv. Nos. 701-TA-469 and 731-TA-1168 (Final)
Dear Chairman Okun:
As members of Congress representing Pennsylvania and its many workers who depend on the steel industry, we are writing to urge the Commission to enforce our trade laws and to stop unfairly-traded shipments of seamless standard, line and pressure pipe from entering this country without remedy. Given the severe problems facing the U.S. economy in general, and the Pennsylvania economy in particular, it is vital that our workers and businesses have the ability to compete on a level playing field. That can only happen when our laws against foreign dumping and subsidized trade are fully and effectively applied.
Pennsylvania has a strong history of manufacturing and has been a leading steel producing state for many decades. It is also home to many steel pipe and tube producers and has one of the nation's leading producers of seamless SLP pipe, TMK IPSCO, located in Ambridge. This company joins others including US Steel in the production of SLP. This sector of the steel industry is not only critical to the U.S. economy because it provides high-value, high-technology products to the energy and other sectors, but it is vital to Pennsylvania's economy and the thousands of workers whose jobs are directly or indirectly at stake.
Our constituents in this industry have weathered many economic storms and, as a result of strong trade remedies, have emerged renewed and ready to compete. We recognize that economic trends are cyclical, but we cannot understand why these companies and workers are repeatedly forced to compete in a market distorted by foreign unfair trade practices. No business, no matter how efficiently or competitively run, can compete against companies propped up by foreign governments and benefiting from an array of market distortions. That is why we have trade laws on the books, and why these rules have been an accepted part of the global trading system since its inception.
We are certain that this case is about one issue -- that is, whether imports proven to be unfairly-traded will be allowed to enter this market without remedy. In the context of a continuing and severe manufacturing crisis, a massive trade deficit, and one of the most severe economic downturns in our history, it is simply unimaginable that we would allow proven unfair trade to go unaddressed.
According to the Commission's own data, imports of dumped and subsidized seamless SLP pipe from China rose by almost 132 percent from 2006 to 2008. The inevitable oversupply resulting from such imports, combined with the effects of the economic downturn, caused demand for American seamless standard and line pipe to collapse.
The situation improved only after these cases were filed and unfairly-traded imports from China were stopped. Even in a difficult market, our workers have already seen benefits from the elimination of Chinese dumped and subsidized imports -- along with the relief recently provided by this Commission on related pipe products (including oil country tubular goods). Nevertheless, the injury already sustained by our industry was terrible, and the threat from Chinese imports going forward is even greater.
China's pipe industry is by all accounts massive and maintains vast excess capacity. It has increasingly seen other export opportunities vanish with the imposition of trade relief, both in the U.S. and abroad, on this and other products made in the same mills. In the absence of effective relief against unfair trade of the subject merchandise, it is clear that China will have an overwhelming incentive to resume shipments of dumped and subsidized product to this market. The results would be disastrous.
Fortunately, the United States has strong antidumping and countervailing duty laws designed to prevent precisely the type of harm at issue here. By issuing affirmative determinations, you can preserve market competition in this industry, and prevent the harm that will inevitably result from another surge of unfair trade. We urge you to do so.