LOS ANGELES Three U.S.
senators are opposing an effort by Firth Rixson Inc. to import
titanium billets duty free to its Monroe, N.Y., aerospace
A recommendation by U.S.
Commerce Department staff members to allow Firth Rixson to
import the product duty free would "quickly lead to significant
harm to domestic titanium producers and forgers," the
senatorsSherrod Brown (D., Ohio), Rob Portman (R., Ohio)
and Robert P. Casey Jr. (D., Pa.)argued this past week in
a letter to Rebecca M. Blank, acting secretary of commerce.
All three of the largest U.S.
titanium producersTitanium Metals Corp., a subsidiary of
Portland, Ore.-based Precision Castparts Corp.; and Allegheny
Technologies Inc. and RTI International Metals Inc., both based
in Pittsburghhave operations in the senators home
states of Ohio and Pennsylvaniaor in both.
The senators stressed in the
letter that they support an earlier recommendation by the
Commerce Departments Foreign Trade Zones Board to exempt
from duty only those billets consumed for forgings and
subsequently exported outside the United States.
The senators maintained that
full approval of Firth Rixsons application could
"pressure U.S. titanium producers to lower their prices by
proposing to take their business to Firth Rixson, which could
provide them duty-free imported titanium."
Firth Rixson, a specialist in
aerospace engine components, began applying in 2011 for foreign
trade zone (FTZ) status to allow its Monroe operation to import
raw billets without paying a 15-percent import tariff,
according to government documents.
East Hartford, Conn.-based Firth Rixson couldnt be
reached for comment. The company is a unit of Sheffield,
England-based Firth Rixson Ltd., which is owned by New
York-based privately held investment firm Oak Hill Capital