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Public Statements

Letter to Chairman Irving Williamson, International Trade Commission - Protect Domestic Steel Producers from Illegal Dumping

Congressional Steel Caucus Vice-Chairman Pete Visclosky and Chairman Tim Murphy sent the attached letter with 48 signatures from additional members of the Congressional Steel Caucus to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The letter was formally submitted as part of an ITC investigation into the unfair trade of hot-rolled steel from China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine. The letter stated that it is absolutely vital that the ITC strictly and strongly enforce our trade laws, and urged the ITC to maintain these existing countervailing and antidumping duties.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Chairman Irving A. Williamson

U.S. International Trade Commission

500 E Street, S.W.

Washington, DC 20436

RE: Hot-Rolled Steel Products from China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine, Inv. Nos. 701-TA-405, 406, and 408 and 731-TA-899-901 and 906-908 (Second Review)

Dear Chairman Williamson:

We are writing to urge the Commission to maintain countervailing duties ("CVD") on imports of hot-rolled steel from India, Indonesia, and Thailand; and to maintain antidumping ("AD") duties on imports of hot-rolled steel from China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine. The Department of Commerce has already determined that if the AD/CVD orders at issue are revoked, imports from the subject countries will again be dumped and subsidized. The only question left for the Commission is whether those unfairly-traded imports will likely cause material injury to domestic producers. We believe this is certainly the case.

Domestic producers of hot-rolled steel are recovering from one of the worst economic crises in U.S. history. According to one estimate, U.S. consumption of hot-rolled steel fell by over 43 percent from 2007 to 2009. As a result, domestic producers suffered massive losses. Data in a recent Commission proceeding showed that in 2009, operating losses of U.S. mills totaled $2.3 billion, while almost 18 percent of the U.S. workforce making hot-rolled steel lost their jobs. Furthermore, by last year U.S. consumption had still not returned to 2007 levels. These facts strongly indicate that U.S. mills are in no position to face a new surge of unfair trade.

Unfortunately, there are compelling reasons to believe that subject imports will return to this market in significant volumes. By one estimate the subject countries have almost 84 million tons of excess hot-rolling capacity -- the inevitable result of the very market-distorting practices that led to the orders at issue. History shows that China, India, and the other subject countries represent some of the world's worst actors in terms of unfair trade and other market-distorting practices. Accordingly, there can be little doubt that the subject producers will have compelling incentives to make sales wherever possible -- especially in a market as large and open as this one. If even a relatively minor portion of their unused capacity is used to ship dumped and subsidized hot-rolled steel to this market, the results would be devastating.

In addition, we understand that many of the subject producers have refused to participate in the Commission's proceeding, or to provide any information in response to Commission requests. It would be outrageous for companies that have failed to cooperate to be rewarded by having the orders at issue revoked -- an outcome that would seriously harm U.S. workers and businesses.

For years, Congress has relied upon this Commission to aggressively enforce our nation's trade laws. We believe that by doing so, you give American workers confidence that they are competing on a level playing field, and that our trade policy rewards hard work and innovation -- not unfair trade. At a time of enormous challenges for the U.S. economy -- and for U.S. manufacturers in particular -- it is absolutely vital that the Commission strictly and strongly enforce our trade laws. We urge you to do so here, and to keep this critical relief in place.

Respectfully submitted,

Tim Murphy
Chairman
Congressional Steel Caucus

Peter J. Visclosky
Vice Chairman
Congressional Steel Caucus


Signatories:

1. Murphy, Tim (R-PA)

2. Visclosky, Peter J.(D-IN)

3. McKinley, David (R-WV)

4. Jones, Walter (R-NC)

5. Rahall, Nick (D-WV)

6. Michaud, Michael (D-ME)

7. Kaptur, Marcy (D-OH)

8. Loebsack, David (D-IA)

9. Doyle, Mike (D-PA)

10. Green, Gene (D-TX)

11. Bachus, Spencer (R-AL)

12. Johnson, Bill (R-OH)

13. Enyart, Bill (D-IN)

14. Bishop, Rob (R-UT)

15. Sewell, Terri (D-AL)

16. Stivers, Steve (R-OH)

17. Lipinski, Dan (D-IN)

18. Dingell, John (D-MI)

19. Crawford, Rick (R-AR)

20. Fortenberry, Jeff (R-NE)

21. Butterfield, GK (D-NC)

22. Brooks, Mo (R-AL)

23. Gibbs, Bob (R-OH)

24. Hudson, Richard (R-NC)

25. Walberg, Tim (R-MI)

26. Smith, Jason (R-MO)

27. Schwartz, Allyson (D-PA)

28. Wilson, Joe (R-SC)

29. Graves, Sam (R-MO)

30. Sanchez, Linda (D-CA)

31. Ryan, Tim (D-OH)

32. Harper, Gregg (R-MS)

33. Shuster, Bill (R-PA)

34. Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)

35. Rothfus, Keith (R-PA)

36. Turner, Michael (R-OH)

37. Clyburn, James (D-SC)

38. Peters, Gary (D-MI)

39. Stutzman, Marlin (R-IN)

40. Pittenger, Robert (R-NC)

41. Rokita, Todd (R-IN)

42. McCollum, Betty (D-MN)

43. Aderholt, Robert (R-AL)

44. Hall, Ralph (R-TX)

45. Rice, Tom (R-SC)

46. Shimkus, John (R-IL)

47. Fudge, Marcia (D-OH)

48. Cohen, Steve (D-TN)

49. Kinzinger, Adam (R-IL)

50. Long, Billy (R-MO)


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