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Letter to the Honorable Irving A. Williamson, Chairman of U.S. International Trade Commission - Ruling of International Trade Commission


Location: Washington, DC

Following a bipartisan effort supporting Ohio's steel workers from U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and others, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of maintaining the existing anti-dumping orders against unfairly traded imports of steel concrete rebar. On April 25, 2013, Portman and Brown, joined by a bipartisan group of senators, sent a letter to ITC Chairman Irving A. Williamson in advance of the ITC hearing on the antidumping orders covering imported steel concrete reinforcing bar ("rebar") from China, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Moldova, Poland and Indonesia. At their urging, the ITC today ruled to continue this critical protection for American-made rebar, including that produced at Nucor Steel Marion, Inc. and Cincinnati's David J. Joseph Company & Byer Steel Group, from rebar imports that are illegally undercutting the U.S. market.

"Today's ruling is good news for the U.S. steel industry and the thousands of jobs it supports in Ohio," said Portman. "Washington must stand up for American manufactured goods and ensure that they are on a level playing field with their global competitors, and this ruling will help prevent unfairly traded rebar from threatening jobs here at home."

"Countries that provide illegal subsidies to rebar exporters, give their companies an unfair advantage over American-made products--and forcing our manufacturers to face unfair competition that puts American jobs and growth at risk," said Brown. "Ohio manufacturers--like Nucor Steel and David J. Joseph Company & Byer Steel Group--can compete with anyone, but they deserve access to a level playing field. With its ruling, that's exactly what the ITC has aimed to provide today."

"Strong trade law enforcement is critical to the health of the U.S. steel industry. Today's vote to maintain the existing trade remedy on steel rebar means our workers here in Marion can compete on a level playing field," said Therr Nowlin, General Manager of Nucor Steel Marion, Inc. "We commend Senators Portman and Brown for their tireless efforts on behalf of American manufacturers and workers."

Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Richard Burr (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Charles Schumer (D-NY), John Boozman (R-AR), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and John Cornyn (R-TX) joined Portman and Brown in sending the bipartisan letter.

The full text of the letter is below.

The Honorable Irving A. Williamson
U.S. International Trade Commission
500 E Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20436

Re: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from Belarus, China, Indonesia, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine, Inv. Nos. 731-TA-873-875, 878-880, and 882

Dear Chairman Williamson,

We are writing to urge you to maintain the existing antidumping ("AD") orders against unfairly-traded imports of steel concrete reinforcing bar ("rebar") from Belarus, China, Indonesia, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine. The continuation of these trade orders is necessary to prevent further injury to an already vulnerable domestic rebar industry and its workers.

As Senators from steel producing states, we are concerned about the impact of unfairly-traded imports on American jobs. On November 23, 2012, a review by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that if the orders were not maintained, producers in these seven countries would resume dumping rebar into the United States at margins ranging from 16.99 percent to 232.86 percent. The Department's review demonstrates that these imports would depress U.S. prices and injure domestic industries.

At the same time, rebar producers in these countries continue to increase their production well in excess of demand, and continue to add new capacity. For instance, Ukraine has nearly doubled its capacity since 2006, and China's oversupply caused by overproduction and a market slowdown, still produces significant quantities that could flood the U.S. market. Further, with economic slowdowns in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, foreign producers in these countries will send their excess steel into the United States.

It is essential that we do all we can to prevent unfairly priced imports from destroying good-paying American jobs. Accordingly, we strongly urge you to maintain the existing orders against unfairly traded imports of rebar. The U.S. steel industry depends on the full and fair enforcement of the trade laws of the United States.

Thank you for in advance for your time and consideration of this critical issue.

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