Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand 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 Klein and Nucor. 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 Klein Steel, who employ 170 people in Rochester, Albany and Buffalo; Nucor Steel, who employ more than 300 people in Auburn and other New York steel producers.
Senators Schumer and Gillibrand 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 Klein Steel 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 Klein Steel and its 200 local workers between its three locations in Rochester, Buffalo and Albany,” 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 Klein Steel for their livelihood and protect the New York steel economy as a whole.”
“This is a major victory for New York’s steel industry and local companies like Klein Steel,” 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.”
“We are glad our team member, supplier and customer voices were heard on the issue of rebar imports,” said Todd Zyra, President, Klein Steel Service. “We are firm in our position that foreign suppliers who artificially lower pricing or purposely flood the market ultimately can weaken our U.S. suppliers and negatively affect every business within the supply chain. We are grateful to our Senators from New York for speaking on our behalf on this important issue.”
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 a 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.