NEW YORK U.S.
electrical steel producers "have been shut out" of China by
anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the Chinese
government, according to AK Steel Corp. executive vice
president and general counsel David Horn.
Horn spoke to the
Congressional-Executive Commission on China at a Jan. 15
hearing in Washington to address Chinas compliance with
World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations, which the United
States has challenged.
Representative Michael Froman said recently that the government
has "requested consultations with China on its failure to bring
anti-dumping and countervailing duties on U.S. exports of
grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES) into
compliance with its WTO obligations." (
amm.com, Jan. 14).
Horn said that duties
imposed by China on GOES imports from West Chester, Ohio-based
AK Steel and the other U.S. producer of the material,
Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI), have
remained despite the WTOs findings that such practices
"are not justified and never should have been imposed" and have
greatly reduced the value of American GOES exports.
"Prior to the start of
the investigation, U.S. GOES exports to China totaled $270
million annually," Horn told the commission. "Today, the value
is well under $1 million."
"We are optimistic
that once the duties are eliminated on electrical steel, that
well be able to get back into China and do business
there," Horn said. "But we are very concerned that it will be
difficult for us to do business in China, given the importance
that the Chinese government has placed on building its
electrical steel industry and not wanting us to go in there and
compete against it."
stronger enforcement of trade laws "to ensure theres no
circumvention" of WTO rulings, as well as actions that would
protect the domestic market from Chinese GOES imports.
"The only way to put
pressure on China is if we can retaliate with tariffs that cost
it business," Horn said.
of Commerce, meanwhile, said Jan. 14 that the Chinese
government "respects the WTO ruling" and will act "in
accordance with the relevant provisions of the WTO to deal with
the subsequent issues."
In November, the U.S.
International Trade Commission ruled in favor of anti-dumping
and countervailing trade petitions brought by AK Steel and ATI
against GOES imports from seven countries, including China
(amm.com, Nov. 19).