USW Continues to Push for Trade Law Enforcement
Steelworkers’ Gerard Testifies at ITC, House and Senate Leaders Call for Action on Chinese OCTG Pipe Imports
WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The United Steelworkers (USW) today called for a final countervailing duty and a preliminary anti-dumping duty to be placed on dumped and subsidized Chinese pipe imports commonly known as oil country tubular goods (OCTG) before the six-member U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).
USW International President Leo W. Gerard said that the future of 6,000 workers employed by seven OCTG pipe producers and their communities are at stake in an industry segment where nearly half of the domestic workforce has been laid off at different times since the case was jointly filed in April by the USW and the participating companies. The pipe imports case is the largest in U.S. history with imports valued at $2.6 billion in 2008.
“Between the end of 2008 and September 2009, this industry lost 2,421 workers,” Gerard said.
“We come before you today seeking much-needed trade relief to permit the massive inventories of unfairly traded imports from China to be worked off so our workers can go back to work and regain their livelihoods and dignity,” he said.
Nine members of Congress, three U.S. Senators and two governors joined Gerard and the executives of the petitioner companies calling for enforcement of current trade laws against the imported Chinese pipes.
In addition to the USW as co-petitioner, the seven producers of the OCTG petition are: U.S. Steel Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa.; Maverick Tube Corp., Hickman, Ark.; Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel, Pueblo, Colo.; TMK IPSCO, Downers Grove, Ill.; V&M Star, LLP, Houston, Tx.; V&M TCA, Houston, Tx.; and Wheatland Tube Corp., Beachwood, Ohio.
USW International Vice President Tom Conway said that this case against China will impact jobs in the entire supply chain for OCTG pipe, including those making flat rolled steel, producing coke and mining iron ore.
“This unfair and illegal trade already has cost thousands of jobs, and thousands more are at stake,” Conway said. “it’s little wonder so many elected legislative and executive officials are making their voices heard on this important matter.”
Members of both congressional houses signed onto letters to ITC Chairman Shara L. Aranoff supporting the USW and other petitioners’ position, including 41 members of the House and 13 senators. In presenting the House version of the letter before the ITC, Rep. Betty Sutton (Ohio) laid out the case against allowing Chinese pipe imports to continue unchecked.
“American workers and producers need and deserve a fair chance to compete in their own market,” Sutton said. “Now more than ever, it is crucial that this Commission fully and effectively enforce our fair trade laws, and ensure that foreign producers refusing to follow global trading rules are not permitted to further injure American workers, companies and communities.”
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell added that with more than 2,000 American workers who make OCTG laid off this past year, it is imperative for the commission to make an affirmative injury determination.
“Pennsylvania is home to US Steel, Wheatland Tube, and TMK IPSCO. All of these firms produce OCTG,” he said. “These firms have been severely impacted by unfairly traded Chinese OCTG which in the first three-quarters of 2009 accounted for approximately 37 percent of the US Market.”
View USW testimony and the House and Senate letters for the OCTG pipe case at: www.usw.org.
CONTACT: Gary Hubbard of United Steelworkers (USW) , +1-202-778-4384
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)