NEW YORK Top executives
from a dozen companies sat down with U.S. Trade Representative
(USTR) Ron Kirk and acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca M.
Blank last week to discuss plans for a "proactive" government
response to low-priced imports, Nucor Corp. chairman and chief
executive officer Daniel R. DiMicco said.
"People are paying attention to
the entire industry. We had 12 CEOs in this meeting last week;
Ron Kirk, the ambassador, and the acting Secretary of Commerce
and a dozen people from their staffs, and Im very
optimistic good things will come from this," he said Tuesday
during a keynote address at the Dahlman Rose &
Co. third annual Global Metals, Mining and Materials
Conference in New York.
DiMicco had said earlier this
year that the Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker was working with
representatives in Washington to develop tools to allow the
domestic steel sector to respond to unfairly traded imports as
theyre happening, rather than only retroactively (
amm.com, April 20), and according to DiMicco,
those discussions are now close to yielding results.
"The industry with the
governmentas late as last weekare working to come
up with a more proactive way to stop the surges before they
start. Im not going to go into what it is were
doingtheres no sense in showing our cards, our
hand, to the competitionbut Im here to tell you
this administration appears to be committed at this point," he
"Theres nothing to suggest
based on past behavior that they wont be committed to
this, to actually coming up with a way where the USTR and the
Department of Commerce work together to stop the surges before
they get started. That will be a very important thing for the
steel industry, for Nucor, particularly in the downturns,"
DiMicco declined to comment on
specific measures being addressed, but he did note that he
expects to see change sooner rather than later. "Im
confident we will come up with that solution and it
shouldnt be something thats a year down the road,"
Until then, the domestic steel
industry will continue to utilize the weapons already in its
arsenal to battle low-priced imports, specifically the filing
of trade cases. DiMicco reiterated Tuesday that he expects to
see "a number" of trade cases filed in the next six to nine
months on a variety of products entering the country.
"We as an industry have to use
all the tools available to us if were going to give our
teammates a chance to be successful," he said.
Only by tackling the issue of
unfairly traded imports will the domestic steel industry be
able to record a significant recovery, DiMicco told
AMM on the sidelines of the event.