Dear Chairman Broadbent:
We write today as Members of the Congressional Steel Caucus to encourage you to fully utilize all of the trade enforcement tools provided to you by Congress to address the illegal trade practices of foreign steel producers.
We are concerned by the surge of illegally traded imports that are crippling the American steel industry. Year-end import data for 2015 clearly reflects the severity of the crisis: foreign steel imports took a record 29 percent share of the domestic steel market which resulted in American steel mills reaching only 70 percent capacity utilization. Imports of other steel products were even higher, with imports capturing 44 percent of the pipe and tube market. In 2015, American steel mills shipped 12 percent fewer tons of steel than in 2014, and a number of mills were forced to shut down operations and lay off over 13,500 employees. Across the board and in nearly every sector, excessive levels of imports are leading to plant shutdowns, worker dislocation, and economic losses across the nation.
We believe that American steelworkers make the best steel in the world, and we have an obligation to ensure that the American steel industry is able to compete on a level playing field and meet the demands of our nation's infrastructure, defense, transportation, agriculture, and energy sectors.
Congress has acted by recently passing critical bipartisan legislation that provides the International Trade Commission (ITC) with enhanced tools to combat illegal trade practices. Specifically, Congress passed the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-27), which made important improvements to U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws. One such improvement provides the ITC with additional factors it may evaluate when considering injury to the domestic industry.
We urge you to fully utilize the tools provided under P.L. 114-27 and under all of our trade enforcement laws when investigating the following pending steel industry trade cases:
Cold-Rolled Steel Products from Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, andthe United Kingdom;
Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products from China, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan;
Heavy Walled Rectangular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes from Korea, Mexico, and Turkey;
Hot-rolled steel flat products from Australia, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom;
Welded Stainless Steel Pressure Pipe from India;
Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip from China;
Circular Welded Carbon-Quality Steel Pipe from Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, UAE, and Vietnam;
Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey
U.S. trade enforcement laws provide the means by which the American steel industry can mitigate the harm inflicted by illegally traded foreign imports. In order for the industry and its workers to obtain full and effective relief, the ITC must aggressively enforce the law to ensure duties that fully offset the amount of unfair trade are ultimately assessed and collected.
We will continue to closely monitor whether the statutory enforcement tools provided under P.L.114-27 and other trade enforcement laws are fully utilized during your investigations of these pending steel industry trade cases.