American steel has been a proud industry over the course of our nation’s history, but unfair competition from imports has been causing a lot of concern among domestic manufacturers. This industry can still be a huge economic engine if we protect ourselves from countries that break the rules. Luckily, American governmental agencies are starting to take a stand against unfairly priced products in the global marketplace.
Recently, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) supported an antidumping complaint brought to the organization by nine American companies, led by Boomerang Tube Co. of Chesterfield, MO. In mid-August, the agency voted 6-0 in support of allegations that oil country tubular goods, the official commodity name for steel pipe products, are being sold to U.S. companies at prices far below the fair market value.
Foreign companies are able to sell these products at a greatly reduced cost because of governmental subsidies on steel production in those countries. However, these subsidies often exceed levels that the World Trade Organization, which regulates trade between foreign countries, can legally provide. Countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and India are often mentioned as countries providing unfair subsidies; South Korea and India are among the nine countries listed in this complaint.
This vote from the ITC means that the U.S. Commerce Department can go ahead with investigations into unfair pricing and make recommendations on countervailing duties. These duties are applied to the price of imports so that U.S. customers have to pay a price for these goods that is supposed to replicate the fair global market value. The recommendations on these countervailing duties should be released by the Commerce Department by September 25.
Florida Pipe & Steel is very aware of the precarious nature of the American steel industry. We applaud all efforts to protect businesses on American soil, and we’re confident that our country’s steel industry is definitely worth saving.
*Image courtesy of zhang xiangyang