ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel Corp. have prevailed in a trade case against imports from five countries, securing tariffs of up to 58.36 percent.
The U.S. Department of Commerce issued final anti-dumping and subsidy orders on Thursday for tariffs on cold-rolled steel from Brazil, India, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The duties are already in effect and will remain so for five years to counteract steel dumping, which is the offloading of the metal into the United States for less than it could be sold for in its country of origin.
"Today’s final duty orders by the Obama Administration expands fairer pricing conditions on cold-rolled steel products from five countries, combined with duties placed earlier this summer on the same steel import products from China and Japan," USW President Leo Gerard said. "We have nearly 19,000 steelworkers and iron ore miners still on extended layoff status since last year as the remaining steel trade case investigations continue to reduce huge inventories of unfairly dumped and subsidized finished steel imports that have been stockpiled before the case was initiated."
Last July, ArcelorMittal, U.S. Steel, Fort Wayne-based Steel Dynamics and other domestic steelmakers filed a trade case against cold-rolled imports. It's been under investigation since then.
"The year-long investigation and duty orders show our trade laws need a rewrite in today’s world of steel overcapacity that’s putting American manufacturing workers and miners on layoff in their our own market, while foreign producers keep shipping illegally-subsidized and dumped products," USW International Vice President Tom Conway said.
The problem is, layoffs already have taken place and mills have already been idled, Gerard said.
“While we will persist in fighting for every job, a comprehensive approach to trade policy is what’s really required,” he said. “Winning a trade case means we have to ‘lose’ first. This says we have to experience injury in the form of permanently lost jobs and shuttered facilities to qualify for relief. Unfortunately, many lives and communities are then shattered in the process.”
The federal government will impose an array of new anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs that for instance include duties of 14 percent to 35 percent on imports from Brazil, and from 6 percent to 34 percent on South Korea, which ships more steel to the United States than any other country.
"The U.S. trade remedy laws are the only means by which domestic industry can begin to mitigate the devastating impact from dumped and subsidized foreign imports," American Iron and Steel Institute President and CEO Thomas Gibson said.