Illegal product dumping in the United States has been a concern in the steel pipe industry, especially as industry production has sped up to keep pace with demand from the oil & gas industry. In Ohio, several steel manufacturers are petitioning for government involvement to protect American jobs in the face of unfair foreign competition.
Nine American companies operating in Youngstown, OH, or northeast Ohio filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce to look into allegations that nine countries are dumping steel pipe products in the United States at unfair prices. The companies signing the petition include U.S. Steel, JMC Steel Group, TMK IPSCO and Vallourec Star.
These companies allege that steel pipe is being dumped, or sold at well below the international market level, from the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Turkey, Thailand and Ukraine. If the commerce department and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decide that these prices are unfair compared to international market rates, duties on purchasing steel pipe goods from these countries can be increased.
The ITC has risen duties, or taxes on imports, for similar materials in the past. It raised duties on Chinese steel pipes during 2010, finding that these goods were being sold from 30 percent to 99 percent below the fair U.S. value. Governmental subsidies for these industries in other countries often contribute to dumping, and the duties are instituted by other governments to make sure that home-grown goods can compete in the marketplace.
Excessive imports hurt the domestic industry, contributing to a reduced economy and lost jobs. In Ohio alone, imports grew from 840,000 tons of steel in 2010 to 1.7 million tons in 2012. This is troubling for the country’s economy, as the expansion of the oil & gas industry is supposed to create the kind of jobs that these foreign purchases are replacing.
Florida Pipe & Steel is dedicated to the health of the steel pipe industry all over the country. Fair international pricing is perhaps the most effective way to protect American jobs in this economy.