CITAC: REASON PREVAILS IN ITC COLD-ROLLED STEEL VOTE
Commissioners rule market conditions indicate no injury;
Washington, DC - Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) President and Vice Chairman Jon Jenson said today's International Trade Commission (ITC) vote against injury in the cold-rolled steel case is a hopeful signal that the U.S. Government has said "enough is enough" to protecting Big Steel for political reasons.
"The ITC decision reflects the facts in this case," stated Jenson. "Most cold-rolled steel is already covered by the Section 201 tariffs of up to 30 percent. As result, U.S. cold-rolled prices have increased 70-75 percent and steel consumers face serious and continuing supply shortages and delays. It's clear that the ITC voted based on current market conditions instead of buying into unconvincing arguments presented by the petitioners," said Jenson.
"The Section 201 tariffs are already yielding damaging results downstream that are absolutely unacceptable to steel consumers. An additional antidumping duty would have stopped trade in cold-rolled products entirely," Jenson continued.
ITC Commissioners voted four to one that imports of cold-rolled steel had not caused injury to the domestic industry during the period investigated. A vote for injury would have resulted in duties on imported cold-rolled steel from Australia, India, Japan and Thailand of more than 100 percent in some cases.
According to Jenson, "No amount of protection has ever been enough to satisfy Big Steel, which filed this case during the 201 investigation at the ITC. Certain U.S. integrated steel mills are willing to put a stranglehold on their customers in order to support inefficient operations. That is not what the trade laws were intended to do and it's time U.S. steel producers stopped misusing the laws."
Steel companies and their supporters have worked vigorously to turn up the heat politically on Commissioners. "We commend the members of the ITC for doing their job with integrity and resisting the political pressures for affirmative injury findings" said Jenson. "The facts clearly support the negative determination, which is good for U.S. steel consuming industries and the trade remedy process."
CITAC is leading the effort for passage of The Transparency and Fairness Trade Act (HR 2770), which would create opportunities for downstream industries to participate meaningfully in, and receive more balanced outcomes from, the U.S. trade litigation and policy processes. The bill has two essential components: 1) bringing downstream industries into the trade debate by making purchasers full parties to trade cases; and 2) exempting imports temporarily from trade remedy actions if they are not made in the United States or are in short supply.
CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations committed to promoting a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries and their workers have access to global markets for imports that enhance the international competitiveness of U.S. firms.