Portman Defends U.S. Steel Industry in Testimony Before U.S. International Trade Commission

May 19, 2022 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) testified before the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) in support of a review of antidumping countervailing duty (AD/CVD) petitions from American steel producers, particularly those facing challenges from unfairly traded corrosion-resistant (CORE) steel products from China, India, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan.

By law, the ITC has to review its AD/CVD orders every five years and the CORE case is now up for review. The domestic industry still faces serious unfair trade pressures on CORE products and is arguing to continue the orders. CORE steel is vital to a healthy U.S. manufacturing base and supports good-paying jobs across the United States and so it is critical that these orders remain in place.

“CORE products are a high-end and integral part of our domestic steel manufacturing ecosystem. As the Republican co-chair of both the Senate Steel Caucus and the Senate Auto Caucus, CORE products sit at the intersection of much of my work in support of Ohio manufacturing.

“In 2016, I stood before the Commission and argued in support of the domestic steel industry in the four cases they brought against unfairly traded imports of CORE steel, cold-rolled steel, hot-rolled steel, and cut-to-length plate. This was because of a dramatic increase in unfairly traded imports. Ohio has been ground zero for steel imports coming in because of government-directed overcapacity in China. Our steel mills have been hit hard because, to put it bluntly, China has not been playing by the rules. In 2000, China produced about 15 percent of world’s steel. Today, thanks to massive subsidies and other forms of state intervention, they now produce about 50 percent.

“Five years later, the domestic industry is still not out of the woods. I would ask that the Commission continues to faithfully apply the tools that Congress has provided them when applying our country’s trade remedy laws.”

NOTE: Last April, Portman and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Leveling the Playing Field 2.0 Act, bipartisan legislation to strengthen U.S. trade remedy laws and ensure they remain effective tools to fight back against unfair trade practices and protect American workers. The Senators’ legislation would establish the new concept of “successive investigations” to improve the effectiveness of the U.S. trade remedy system in responding to repeat offenders and serial cheaters, helping to level the playing field for American workers. Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) introduced companion legislation in the House.