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US to impose more than 500% tariff on China steel
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US to impose more than 500% tariff on China steel

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US to impose more than 500% tariff on China steel

The steelmaking operation at ArcelorMittal’s Burns Harbor plant, among others, has been affected by cheap imports from China, leading the U.S. Department of Commerce to increase tariffs on unfairly subsidized steel from China and Japan.

The domestic steel industry won a major victory Wednesday in Washington, D.C., when the federal government decide to hit Chinese steelmakers with tariffs of more than 500 percent.

The U.S. International Trade Commission found cold-rolled steel products from China and Japan, which the United States imported $431.6 million of last year, were unfairly subsidized and sold for less than fair value. As a result, the U.S. Department of Commerce will slap tariffs of as high as 522 percent on cold-rolled steel from China that’s used to make cars and appliances.

Record volumes of cheap Chinese steel caused a global import crisis that the United Steelworkers union blames for more than 14,500 steelworker layoffs in the United States. The Asian nation exported an unprecedented 112 million tons of steel last year as demand there slowed, flooding world markets and driving down prices in an industry with high fixed costs.

All six ITC commissioners voted the cheap imports from China and Japan were hurting American steelmakers with mills in Northwest Indiana, Illinois and a dozen other states.

ArcelorMittal, U.S. Steel, Fort Wayne-based Steel Dynamics and other domestic steelmakers pressed the trade case last year. They’re also seeking duties on cold-rolled steel from Brazil, India, Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom to protect the $19.9 billion U.S. market.

Imports captured a record 29 percent of the market share last year, leading to the temporary idling of East Chicago Tin and other mills across the country.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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