U.S. steel-consuming industries will continue to struggle to be competitive in the wake of yesterday’s International Trade Commission’s (ITC) decision to continue import restrictions on steel, according to the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) Steel Task Force.
“Steel consumers in the United States need access to stable, adequate supplies of globally priced steel, and the ITC decision ensures that they will continue to suffer from high prices, long lead times and quality problems,” said Lewis Leibowitz, counsel to CITAC.
The ITC voted 4-2 on Thursday to continue dumping orders for 5 years on certain hot-rolled, flat-rolled carbon steel from Brazil, Japan, Russia and several other countries.
Steel consumers had argued that the duties should be discontinued because the record profits of U.S. steel producers made it highly unlikely that they would be harmed by removal of the duties.
“While 5 years ago there may have been justification for these orders,” said Leibowitz, “circumstances have changed dramatically since then. Since the domestic steel industry cannot produce enough steel to meet U.S. demand, and the industry is profitable and competitive, why should U.S. policy impose a tax on imported steel that we need?”
“Steel consumers support a strong, globally competitive domestic steel industry. They support trade protection remedies for industries that are the target of unfair trade practices. But increasingly these industries must bear the burden of continued protection for their own suppliers, far beyond any reasonable time period, and that burden is becoming too great.”
The CITAC Steel Task Force has argued that the ITC must take into account the impact on consumers and the economy as a whole, not just one segment of the economy, when determining whether to impose or continue trade remedies.
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 American firms. The CITAC STF is a coalition of companies and organizations representing steel consumers and related industries.
CITAC Steel Task Force