Portman, Brown Urge Commerce Department to Address Unfair Korean Oil Country Tubular Imports
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today urged Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to address unfair trade practices by Korean producers of Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG). American OCTG producers, including U.S. Steel in Lorain; Vallourec Star in Youngstown; Wheatland Tube in Warren; and TMK IPSCO in Brookfield will be affected by this decision. Unfair OCTG imports hurt Ohio workers and Brown and Portman are asking Secretary Ross to prevent the idling of more steel facilities and protect steelworkers’ jobs by cracking down on unfair competition from Korea.
“We urge you to use the administrative review process to thoroughly investigate the extent to which Korean OCTG imports are being sold in the U.S. at below market prices,” said Portman and Brown. “If Korean producers’ unfair trade practices are not addressed, more U.S. steel companies will idle their facilities and more U.S. steelworkers will lose their jobs.”
Portman and Brown have spoken out against the flood of unfair OCTG imports in the past, speaking out about the case in May 2014.
March 30, 2017
The Honorable Wilbur Ross
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20230
Dear Secretary Ross:
We write regarding the Commerce Department’s administrative review of the antidumping margins on Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) from Korea. This case is critical to U.S. OCTG producers, and we urge you to ensure that the final determination in the administrative review accurately reflects Korean producers’ unfair trade practices and creates a level playing field for U.S. steel companies and their workers.
The U.S. OCTG industry is still struggling as a result of a flood of unfairly traded OCTG imports, first from China and then from Korea. Multiple facilities in the sector have idled or closed. We were disappointed that the preliminary determination in the administrative review reduced margins on Korean OCTG imports. As a result, Korean producers began flooding the market immediately. In September 2016, 12,689 metric tons of Korean OCTG imports entered the U.S. The next month, when the preliminary margins went into effect, 50,837 metric tons of Korean OCTG imports came into our market. The first two months of this year, import volumes increased even more, to approximately 80,000 metric tons in each month.
Unless proper dumping margins are in place, this flood of foreign imports will grow and will continue to threaten U.S. producers. We urge you to use the administrative review process to thoroughly investigate the extent to which Korean OCTG imports are being sold in the U.S. at below market prices. If Korean producers’ unfair trade practices are not addressed, more U.S. steel companies will idle their facilities and more U.S. steelworkers will lose their jobs.
Thank you for your consideration of this request, and we look forward to working with you to strengthen U.S. trade enforcement.