NEW YORK Fourteen
senators have called on the U.S. International Trade Commission
(ITC) to protect the domestic rebar industry by maintaining
anti-dumping duties on concrete reinforcing bar imports from
several countries in Asia and eastern Europe.
The senators, including Sherrod
Brown (D., Ohio) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), said in a
letter to ITC chairman Irving A. Williamson that maintaining
current anti-dumping duties on products from China, Belarus,
Indonesia, Latvia, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine would be in the
interest of the U.S. rebar industry and work force. The letter
comes as the ITC is deliberating whether to maintain existing
import duties on rebar imports from those countries (
amm.com, April 23).
"The continuation of these trade
orders is necessary to prevent further injury to an already
vulnerable domestic rebar industry and its workers," the
senators said in the letter. "It is essential that we do all we
can to prevent unfairly priced imports from destroying
good-paying American jobs."
Unfairly traded rebar imports
"would depress U.S. prices and injure domestic industries," the
The ITC held a five-year sunset
review on rebar anti-dumping duties April 25, with Joseph
Alvarado, chairman, president and chief executive officer of
Irving, Texas-based Commercial Metals Co., and Jim Kerkvliet,
vice president of commercial sales at Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau
Long Steel North America, among the mill sources testifying for
the domestic rebar industry.
Domestic mills argue that the
countries in question produce far more rebar than they can
consume and are looking for a market into which they can dump
their excess product.
"The margins were making
are (already) grotesquely thin," a mill source who was at the
ITC review told AMM. "Pulling down the tariffs on any
of these countries would further the long-term damage on this
In their letter, the senators
argued that imports from China and the other six countries
under review could flood the U.S. rebar market. "Rebar
producers in these countries continue to increase their
production well in excess of demand and continue to add new
capacity," the letter said.
But David Phelps, president of
the Washington-based American Institute for International
Steel, told AMM that the global steel industry has
changed dramatically since the duties were first instituted in
2001, and the ITC should let them expire.
"Who in the world would argue
that the steel industry and the U.S. steel market
(havent) dramatically changed since 98, 99,
2000? Its a totally different market," Phelps said.
"After protection of nearly 12 years (from rebar imports), we
dont even think this should be a question that should be
asked at this point."