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American Shipper

Metalforming groups asks ITC to dump duties on steel from 11 countries

Metalforming groups asks ITC to dump duties on steel from 11 countries

The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition on Tuesday called on the U.S. International Trade Commission to revoke the current antidumping and countervailing duties on hot-rolled steel imports from 11 countries at the conclusion of its 'sunset review' investigation now underway.

   CITAC said the duties are no longer needed to protect the U.S. steel industry and are creating supply problems for U.S. steel-using manufacturers.

   CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations 'committed to ensuring that consuming industries and manufacturers in America have access to reliable supplies of globally priced materials.'

   Three company representatives from the Precision Metalforming Association, a CITAC member, will testify this week at an ITC sunset review hearing on AD/CVD duties on hot-rolled steel imports from Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine. The duties have been in place since 2001.

   'The U.S. needs both a strong steel industry and a strong steel-consuming industry,' said Steve Alexander, CITAC executive director, in a statement. 'With consolidation, record profits and unprecedented pricing power, the domestic steel industry is healthy and no longer needs protection. However, middle market steel-consuming manufacturers, such as the 1,200 member companies of PMA, are currently hurt by steel supply problems and steel prices. These companies need reliable access to steel supplies at globally competitive prices. The current AD/CVD duties on hot-rolled steel are no longer necessary and are making it difficult for U.S. manufacturers to compete with their global competitors.'

   Alexander also noted that the PMA members are only able to testify at the ITC hearing because they were granted time by respondents from the countries subject to the duties. Under U.S. trade law, industrial users, including steel-consuming manufacturers, are left out of these ITC cases, even though a decision to place duties on their raw materials and other production inputs affects their global competitiveness.

   'The fact that U.S. industrial users need to borrow time from foreign countries is stark evidence that current U.S. trade remedy laws do not take into consideration the needs of U.S. steel-consuming companies,' Alexander said. 'This is why CITAC has made passage of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (HR 1127) a legislative priority this year.'

   HR 1127, introduced by Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich., would give industrial users legal standing in trade remedy cases involving those products. The legislation would provide U.S. industrial users with full 'interested party' standing throughout the AD/CVD process and would require that the ITC use an economic impact test to ensure that decisions in the AD/CVD process do not result in greater harm than benefit to American manufacturers.

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