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Letter to Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce - Uphold Fair Trade for US Steel Workers

The Honorable Penny Pritzker
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

Dear Secretary Pritzker,

We write to you regarding countervailing duty and antidumping investigations being conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce on imports of steel reinforcing bar (rebar) from Turkey and Mexico. As the Department investigates dumping and subsidies, we respectfully request that the domestic rebar industry be given full consideration. American businesses and workers expect that the Department will find dumping and subsidization where it is occurring, and will prosecute unfair trade practices to the full extent of the law.

Rebar is one of the largest volume steel products produced in the U.S., employing more than 10,000 workers in over 30 states. With nearly 7 million tons of domestic production, a healthy rebar industry is critical to a strong economy. However, it is our understanding that imports from Turkey and Mexico are surging into the U.S., nearly doubling from 2011 to 2013. The widespread impact these unfairly-traded rebar imports are having on industry and communities across the country is extremely troubling and must be addressed.

The International Trade Commission recently found that Mexican and Turkish rebar producers are consistently underselling U.S. producers, resulting in substantial lost sales and depressed prices. Subsequently, the Department of Commerce made a preliminary finding that the Government of Turkey bestows energy subsidies to its rebar industry, but that such subsidies are only de minimis in value. This seems surprising given the inherently energy-intensive nature of steel production.

It is essential that we do everything that we can do to prevent unfairly-traded imports from negatively impacting good-paying American jobs, especially in these challenging economic times. We urge you to take the necessary actions to strictly and fully enforce our trade laws.

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

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