U.S. Steel Losing Domestic Market Share to Asian Nations
You may have thought we were joking a week ago when, in this space, we were somewhat incredulous that a kid could become a millionaire through social media since the America we’d grown up in (activate grumpy old man voice),“used to make steel!”
Oh, and stay off our lawn.
Actually, the American steel industry would appreciate if the rest of the world would not only stay off their turf, but stop dumping their steel here. And plenty is getting dumped with no end in sight. In fact, foreign steel imports accounted for the 33 percent of the market in the States, last month. For the year, foreign steel has carved out a clean third of domestic sales according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. That’s an increase of 36 percent from the same period last year.
Those numbers are devastating to steel-producing states such as Ohio where Rep. Marcy Kaptur and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown have been vocal in their warnings about what this could mean for American workers. Brown released a report that said present conditions could lead to more than half a million lost jobs—34,000 in Ohio.
That might be easier to swallow if other nations were producing better steel but, as the Economic Policy Institute for the Alliance for American Manufacturing showed, much of the foreign steel flooding the American market is illegally dumped tubular import, primarily from South Korea, priced below fair value and in deceptive ways to circumvent international trade laws.
Kaptur says that the “unfair trade practices like the dumping of cheap low-grade foreign steel into our U.S. marketplace,” has made her look critically at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the far-reaching trade pact the White House has been pushing but which has met with Congressional resistance precisely for the lack of oversight and protection that has threatened the U.S. steel industry.
“Even now the U.S. is negotiating trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Kaptur says. “That must be revised to account for [dumping] concerns.”
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