Senators Urged Commerce to Take Action, Paved the Way with Leveling the Playing Field Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded Commerce Department Action against unfair oil country tubular good (OCTG) imports from Korea. Following Portman and Brown’s urging, Commerce found that Korean steel producers have been unfairly dumping this imports into the U.S. market, leaving Ohio steelworkers and steel companies at a competitive disadvantage. The Senators’ Leveling the Playing Field Act helped pave the way for a positive decision in the case.

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.

When Ohio steelmakers have a level playing field they can compete and win with anyone", Portman said. “I am pleased that the Leveling the Playing Field Act is continuing to help our steelmakers do just that.  I applaud Commerce's decision which is another step towards ensuring that foreign trade cheats do not cost Ohio jobs."

“It’s simple – if countries don’t play fair, the U.S. stands ready to crack down on unfair trade practices that close up factories and put our workers out of jobs,” said Brown. “I’m pleased our law to boost enforcement tools is continuing to make a difference for Ohio steelworkers, and I will continue to push the Commerce Department to defend U.S. OCTG producers from trade cheaters.”

The Senators wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last month asking him to address unfair trade practices by Korean producers of OCTGs to prevent the idling of more steel facilities and protect steelworkers’ jobs by cracking down on unfair competition from Korea. Portman and Brown have been seeking strong enforcement action in this case for years, and the two garnered bipartisan support for the case in May 2014.

The case is another example of the success of their Leveling the Playing Field Act, which was signed into law in June 2015. The case has restored strength to antidumping and countervailing duty statues so businesses and workers have the tools they need to petition the Commerce Department and International trade Commission (ITC) when foreign producers sell goods in the U.S. below market price or receive illegal subsidies.

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