Enforce Act aims to stop trade cheaters

May 27, 2011 | 03:31 PM | Scott Robertson

Tags  Enforce Act, Ron Wyden, Olympia Snowe, Thomas Gibson, Thomas Danjczek, trade

PITTSBURGH — The U.S. steel industry—which has long sought the tools it believes are necessary to fight "trade cheats" who take advantage of government subsidies or government-owned steel operations to evade U.S. trade laws—may have finally found some.

According to sources in the steel sector, Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and six other U.S. senators may have given the domestic steel industry a new weapon in its arsenal against illegally shipped imported steel with the introduction of the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Circumvention Act (Enforce).

Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s subcommittee on Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, introduced the bipartisan legislation late Thursday along with Sens. Olympia Snowe (R. Me.), Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.), Roy Blunt (R., Mo.), Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), Rob Portman (R., Ohio) and Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.).

While the bill is not intended as steel-centric legislation, industry officials nationwide have hailed it as a step forward after fighting for years to stop sudden import surges and evasion of anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws. The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that April preliminary steel imports totaled more than 2.5 million net tons, 3 percent higher than March final figures, and were poised to account for roughly 22 percent of U.S. market share.....

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