TRADE CASES HEADLINESTrade Cases
Steel Industry Groups Petition U.S. Trade Representative
Mar. 26, 2009
Steel industry groups have directed a letter to Ambassador Ron Kirk urging him to “consult with other governments and to request immediate consultations” regarding Chinese actions to boost steel exports by reintroducing or enlarging Value Added Tax (VAT) rebates.
In their letter, the groups—American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI), Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA), and the United Steelworkers (USW)—explained that if China is allowed to move forward with this plan, unfairly traded Chinese steel exports to the United States and other countries are likely to expand rapidly.
The groups’ letter stated that “an increase in imports from China would have a devastating impact on the American steel industry and on its workers and communities across the country. China is attempting to keep its steel mills running by exporting more steel to the U.S. at the very time the American steel industry has seen demand for its products plummet.
“In essence,” continued the letter, “China is trying to export its unemployment here. A further surge at this time in unfairly traded exports of Chinese steel would force America’s steel producers to cut production even more, and could lead to the loss of many more jobs.”
The letter went on to state that “These moves could raise unemployment in the United States and destabilize the world economy. The United States government should make it absolutely clear to the government of China that China’s proposed course of action will damage the American economy at a time when global economic recovery depends very much upon recovery in the United States.
“If China wishes to produce more steel, it should do so by stimulating its own domestic demand for steel, not exports.”