TK mill FTZ status plea ignites US industry’s ire

Dec 18, 2008 | 12:53 PM | Maria Guzzo

ThyssenKrupp Steel & Stainless USA LLC's request that its new Alabama mill receive foreign trade zone (FTZ) status from the U.S. Department of Commerce has several carbon and stainless steel industry players balking.

ThyssenKrupp Steel & Stainless USA in October filed to seek foreign trade zone status for its plant under construction in Calvert, Ala. (AMM, Oct. 9). The company's request indicates that the savings from FTZ procedures would help improve the plant's international competitiveness, enabling it to continue to employ the 2,500 people it expects to work there in late 2009 when production begins.

But the dissenters, in filing letters of comment this month to the Foreign Trade Zones Board, say granting the status would injure the domestic carbon and stainless steel industry.

Those filing oppositions with the FTZ Board included flat-rolled stainless steel producers that are members of the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA); carbon and stainless steelmaker AK Steel Corp., West Chester, Ohio; and the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), Washington, which represents 36 North American steelmakers.

ThyssenKrupp USA didn't return calls seeking comment on Thursday. The company is expected to file rebuttal comments to the FTZ Board in advance of a Dec. 22 deadline.....

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