U.S. Steel is asking the federal government to go beyond tariffs and keep unfairly subsidized, cut-rate Chinese steel out of the United States altogether.
"We have said that we will use every tool available to fight for fair trade," Chief Executive Officer Mario Longhi said. "With today's filing, we continue the work we have pursued through countervailing and antidumping cases and pushing for increased enforcement of existing laws."
Hours before reporting a $340 million loss in the first quarter, U.S. Steel announced it had filed an International Trade Commission complaint against China's biggest steel producers and their distributors. The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker, one of Northwest Indiana's largest employers, is accusing them of unfair and illegal business practices that helped result in a record 29 percent market share for foreign steel in the United States last year.
In trade cases, domestic steelmakers typically ask for tariffs that make foreign steel more expensive and negate any cost advantages they might gain from illegal subsidies or the strategic decision to sell steel at a loss to gain market share. U.S. Steel wants a total ban of unfairly traded Chinese steel.
U.S. Steel is accusing China of conspiring to fix prices, stealing U.S. trade secrets, and circumventing tariffs by erroneously labeling where the steel originated from.
"I would like to emphasize the remedy under Section 337 is not a tariff," Longhi said in a conference call to investors. "It is a total exclusion of unfairly traded Chinese products in the U.S. market."
"We believe market-distorting practices by foreign governments and steel companies are driving the current import level, not market demand," Longhi said.
United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard said China has not been cooperating with global efforts to reduce steelmaking overcapacity.
"Today the USW stands with U.S. Steel in its effort to put a stop to China’s illegal and predatory acts targeting our country’s steel sector," Gerard said. "The approach the company is taking is bold, but necessary."
Source : nwitimes.com