Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Dan Maffei today announced that after their push, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has reached its final determination and found that steel producers from Mexico and Turkey have caused economic harm to U.S. steel reinforcing bar, known as “rebar,” companies, like Nucor and Klein. Mexico’s producers were found to be dumping rebar – into the U.S. market, while Turkey’s producers were found to be unfairly subsidizing their rebar exports. Following the ITC decision, the Department of Commerce (DOC) will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect estimated duties for imports of rebar from Mexico and Turkey. This will level the playing field for companies like Nucor Steel, who employ more than 300 people in Auburn; Klein Steel, who employ 170 people in Rochester, Albany and Buffalo; and other New York steel producers.
Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Representative Maffei have long fought to combat unfair international trade tactics that cause economic harm and undermine the revitalization of manufacturing in upstate New York. The Senators originally wrote to the Department of Commerce in March regarding the predatory pricing, also known as dumping, of steel into U.S. markets. DOC issued its decision in September and determined that Mexico’s rebar producers have been dumping rebar into the U.S. market. Commerce also found that at least one of Turkey’s major producers is receiving government subsidies. The cases then moved to the ITC, who further investigated and found evidence that Mexico and Turkey were causing material injury to the U.S. domestic industry. This decision today by the ITC will allow the DOC to issue antidumping duty orders on imports of rebar from Mexico and a countervailing duty order on rebar imports from Turkey.
“Protecting our Upstate New York steel manufacturers and distributors like Nucor is of the utmost importance, which is why I could not stand by idly and watch foreign companies practice predatory trade tactics and harm our New York steel companies. These predatory foreign trade practices threatened to undermine our American producers, and that is why I went to bat for Nucor and its 300 local workers in Central New York,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased that the International Trade Commission has heeded our call upon seeing the substantial evidence of damage that was being caused by foreign dumping and subsidization of steel rebar. This important ITC decision means new duties for foreign importers, which will protect the jobs of the local workers that rely on Nucor for their livelihood and protect the New York steel economy as a whole.”
“This is a major victory for Nucor Steel, its workers and Central New York,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Dumping cheaper products into the U.S. cannot be tolerated and I am pleased the International Trade Commission is standing up to protect New York steelworker’s jobs from predatory international practices. This decision is a step forward that will make it harder for foreign countries to corner the market through unfair and illegal trade and helps put our steel manufacturers on a level playing field – so that we can see more Made in America again, starting right here in New York.”
“Mexico and Turkey’s unfair trade practices hurt American rebar companies and their workers and families, and the International Trade Commission made the right decision today to protect workers at Nucor and other manufacturers across the country,” said U.S. Representative Dan Maffei, who petitioned the International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce to fully enforce laws on unfairly traded imports of rebar. “Our workers can out-compete and out-produce anyone in the world – we just need to make sure they have a level playing field. I will continue to fight to protect our manufacturing sector from unfair trade policies that ship jobs overseas and work with Democrats and Republicans to ensure Nucor continues to be competitive in the global economy.”
“Today’s ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission will provide needed relief from unfairly traded rebar imports from Turkey and Mexico,” said Mary Emily Slate, Vice President & General Manager of Nucor Steel Auburn Inc. “While this is good news for Nucor Steel Auburn, we remain disappointed that the Department of Commerce failed to find dumping against Turkish rebar imports and that the subsidy findings were not higher. We thank Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Maffei for standing with us in this ongoing battle, and for their tireless efforts to ensure a level playing field for American manufacturers.”
Dumping is when a foreign company exports their goods into the United States below fair market value. The U.S. Department of Commerce investigates cases of potential dumping by calculating dumping margins, the difference between the U.S. market price of a product and the price in the exporter’s home country, to determine if dumping has occurred. The dumping margins become a duty order if the ITC finds evidence of material injury or threat of injury to the domestic industry from such dumping. The duty order is a type of tax on the import found to be undervalued, which brings the price of that import to fair value.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York is the third largest employer of structural iron and steel workers, employing more than 4,000 workers. New York’s iron and steel workers are also the highest paid workers amongst all, within the occupation. Rebar is one of the largest volume steel products produced in the U.S., employing more than 10,000 workers in over 30 states. With nearly 7 million tons of domestic production, a healthy rebar industry is critical to a strong economy. However imports from Turkey and Mexico are surging into the U.S., nearly double from 2011 to 2013. The domestic rebar industry is operating at only 60 percent capacity utilization, a historic low, and have been forced to close facilities and lay off workers due to foreign dumping.
Nucor Corporation is the largest domestic steel manufacturer in the United States. In 2001, Nucor invested $115 million to acquire what was then a failing steel-making facility in Auburn. In the decade since that acquisition, Nucor has invested an additional $40 million to modernize or upgrade the core components of the steel melting, casting and rolling operations. Nucor’s Auburn facility produces a range of carbon steel products including reinforcing bars and employs over 300 people.