CITAC Testifies In Injury Hearing on September 17
Testimony of William E. Sopko
Thank you. I am Bill Sopko, CEO of Stamco Industries, Euclid, Ohio (in my state, the ratio of steel consuming jobs to steel production jobs is 20:1). I am the current Chairman of the Precision Metalforming Association ("PMA") and a proud member of CITAC, the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition.
Import restrictions on steel will injure my business and all metalformers. We cannot accept this.
My company makes a variety of parts for car, light truck and heavy truck braking systems as well as other parts. Steel is our major production input. In this respect, Stamco Industries is hardly unusual. This Commission must understand the importance of open access to raw materials for all American steel-using manufacturers. Most steel users are small businesses, like mine (120 employees). We buy steel with the necessary quality to meet our needs and our customers' needs. If we don't meet those needs, someone else will. And we will be out of business. In our Exhibit 1, CITAC illustrates the magnitude of this issue by showing the number of steel-consuming jobs in each state and comparing them with steel-production jobs.
American steel producers make enough steel in the aggregate to satisfy only about 75 percent of demand. But the problem is much more serious than that. In my own business, I must use imported steel because domestic steel for certain applications does not always meet the necessary requirements. We also need to assure our supply by having more than one supply source. Imports are not optional, but essential for my company.
As I said, my company's situation is common. Companies around the country buy imported steel that does not compete with domestic steel. Imports give these buyers specifications that we cannot obtain domestically. Those imports do not compete with domestic production and therefore cannot injure any domestic industry. Neither do imports that complement domestic supplies by providing security of supply.
During the course of these hearings, you will hear from numerous businesses that need steel they cannot get from domestic sources. It is critical to these companies that you allow them to maintain access to these products.
Testimony of John C. Kennedy
Good afternoon. I am John C. Kennedy, President and CEO of Autocam Corporation, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan (where the ratio of steel consuming jobs to steel producing jobs is 68:1). Autocam is a world leader in the design and manufacture of tight-tolerance metal components, for applications such as fuel systems, braking systems, power steering systems, surgical devices, and computer electronics.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak on behalf of America's consuming industries in this Section 201 investigation. There are 12.8 million American workers and more than 100,000 businesses in this country that use steel products in their operations (57 times as many jobs as in steel production). These companies risk hardship and, in some cases, extinction if access to imports is restricted.
Why are we so concerned about trade restrictions? My company provides a good example. We must compete, every day, on costs, on prices, on terms of sale and delivery and on quality with the best competitors in the world.
Steel costs are a significant part of our production costs. We cannot survive in the United States for long if we pay higher prices for steel than in other markets. We will lose sales to our international competitors. We would have to move our operations out of the country to survive. Our U.S. workers would pay the price for steel protection. We want to avoid that. We strongly urge the Commission to examine the issue of global steel prices in this case.
At Autocam, and throughout the U.S. economy, we know that trade restrictions will not help steel producers whose problems are much deeper and more complex than steel imports. And it will hurt everyone else in the American economy, including my company. We must look for better solutions.
Testimony of Lewis E. Leibowitz
Good afternoon. My name is Lewis Leibowitz. I serve as counsel to CITAC, a growing coalition of companies in the United States that employ millions of Americans and depend on imports for manufacturing, distribution, retailing and other commercial activities. See our Exhibit 1. Our time is very short today; I want to make two basic points on the importance of the injury phase of this case to consuming industries.
1. CITAC strongly urges the Commission to place the burden of proving injury and causation squarely on the complaining industries, where the law places it.
2. We know that many products are not available from domestic sources and that the U.S. industry cannot produce enough steel to satisfy the American market. Therefore, we urge the Commission to consider, in the injury phase, whether imports of specific subject products that do not compete directly with domestic production can properly be deemed a cause, substantial or otherwise, of "serious injury." Commission precedent supports this analysis, which is directly applicable to Section 201.
A fair resolution of this case requires that the Commission consider these points. Steel using industries cannot afford an incomplete analysis at any phase of this case.