Durbin Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators in Calling for Action Against Recent Surge in Cheap Steel Imports from Turkey
Senator concerned that antidumping violations may be costing Illinois jobs
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined a bipartisan group of 23 other Senators calling for the Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, to review whether Turkish companies producing steel reinforcing bar, “rebar”, are violating U.S. antidumping laws. Turkey’s rebar imports now constitute approximately 80% of U.S. rebar imports and around 20% of U.S. domestic rebar consumption – and are projected to increase.
“As members who represent rebar manufacturing facilities, we understand the negative impacts that unfairly-traded imports can have on this industry, its workers, and their families, as well as on the American economy. The industry employs more than 10,000 workers throughout the country, all of whom rely on the effective enforcement of our trade laws,” the Senators wrote.
Other Senators signing on to today’s letter include, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Burr (R-NC), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Text of today’s letter is below.
The Honorable Penny Pritzker
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
Dear Secretary Pritzker:
We write on behalf of steel reinforcing bar, “rebar,” producers in our states regarding the September 2013 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on rebar imports from Turkey. The rebar producers in our states have expressed their concerns about the recent surge in rebar imports from Turkey. We urge the Department of Commerce to carefully consider the arguments raised by the U.S. industry in the remand proceedings of the antidumping investigation and to quickly complete the administrative review of the countervailing duty order on Turkish rebar. We must ensure that our antidumping and countervailing duties accurately reflect unfair trade practices so that U.S. workers and businesses can compete on a level playing field and are protected from unfairly-traded imports.
As members who represent rebar manufacturing facilities, we understand the negative impacts that unfairly-traded imports can have on this industry, its workers, and their families, as well as on the American economy. The industry employs more than 10,000 workers throughout the country, all of whom rely on the effective enforcement of our trade laws.
The U.S. rebar industry has expressed their concerns that current U.S. duties do not accurately reflect Turkish government subsidies or dumping margins for Turkish rebar imports. U.S. imports of rebar from Turkey have increased from around 70,000 tons per month to over 130,000 tons per month since the Department’s preliminary countervailing duty determination in April 2014. It is our understanding that Turkey’s rebar imports now constitute approximately 80 percent of U.S. rebar imports and around 20 percent of U.S. domestic rebar consumption – and are projected to increase. Due to this unfair import competition, the U.S. rebar industry has experienced significant declines in production and is currently operating at around 63 percent capacity utilization. Many companies have been forced to close facilities, lay off workers and cut worker hours.
We commend the Department for previously requesting a voluntary remand on the antidumping investigation on Turkish rebar. We understand that the U.S. Court of International Trade (USCIT) recently determined that the Department may have erred with respect to each of the issues appealed by the domestic industry in this investigation. As a result, the USCIT remanded each of these issues back to the Department for reconsideration. We urge the Department to carefully consider the arguments raised by the domestic industry in the remand proceedings to ensure the accurate calculation of dumping margins.
Further, we understand that the domestic industry requested the initiation of an administrative review on November 30, 2015, and we ask that the Department carefully consider the issues raised by the domestic industry to ensure the accurate calculation of Turkish producers’ duty liability.
Thank you for your attention to these matters; we look forward to your speedy reply, as it is essential that we do everything we can to prevent unfairly-traded rebar imports from further harming American jobs.
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