WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) applauded the U.S. Commerce Department’s (DOC) preliminary ruling on a petition in favor of defending companies operating in Ohio, like U. S. Steel, from illegally traded steel pipe by ensuring antidumping duties (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) continue to be levied on illegally subsidized and intentionally undersold Chinese steel pipe imports. The announcement follows efforts by Brown and Portman to urge the DOC to protect companies operating in Ohio like U. S. Steel in Lorain, Wheatland Tube Company in Warren, V&M Star in Youngstown, and TMK IPSCO in Brookfield from unfair and illegal Chinese trade practices.
“This is great news for Ohio’s workers and manufacturers,” said Brown, who visited with U. S. Steel CEO John Surma and United Steelworkers (USW) workers at the company’s Lorain facility May 31. “As our trade deficit continues to widen, our need to level the playing field for them becomes more urgent. The Commerce Department’s ruling defends companies like U. S. Steel who work hard and play by the rules. Import duties ensure others do the same so we can continue to build things and create jobs in Ohio and the United States.”
“This preliminary ruling to crack down on foreign companies who attempt to circumvent the laws on the books and in turn put Ohio’s businesses and workers at risk is a step in the right direction,” Portman said. “Washington must stand up for American manufactured goods and ensure that they are on a level playing field with their global competitors.”
OCTG are used for domestic oil exploration, particularly in the shale industry, and are produced in Ohio by companies including U. S. Steel, TMK IPSCO, Wheatland Tube Company, and V&M Star.
Brown and Portman have long championed the American steel industry and fought to ensure it can compete fairly against the Chinese and in the international trade market. Last month Brown and Portman urged the DOC to protect companies operating in Ohio like U. S. Steel from illegal Chinese trade practices by maintaining antidumping duties AD and CVD on Chinese steel pipe imports.
Earlier in May, Brown and Portman applauded U. S. Steel’s announcement that it would consider expanding its steeling operations in Lorain. Brown’s and Portman’s efforts were vital to ensuring U. S. Steel was provided necessary relief from Chinese steel pipe imports, and as a result, could maintain its facility in Lorain or potentially expand its operations.
In December 2012, Brown and Portman led a group of senators in urging the DOC to maintain AD and CVD on Chinese steel pipe imports. In 2009, Brown also testified before the ITC to advocate for the defense of U.S. steel and domestic steel pipe producers from unfair OCTG. The ITC's ruling led to a border measure on imports to support domestic producers of steel pipe. By addressing illegal Chinese trade practices, this decision helped increase demand for domestic production.