The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) said they were encouraged by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) decision to impose preliminary countervailing duties on imports of coated paper from China. Such duties are designed to offset unfair competitive advantages received from government subsidies. The steel groups see the decision as a step in the modernization of an outdated policy, and it marks a change of course for the DOC, after two decades in which the groups say the U.S. government declined to consider countervailing duty cases involving non-market economies (NMEs).
"We are encouraged…but it remains vital to pass promptly legislation in both Chambers mandating the full and strict application of CVD law to subsidies in NMEs," said AISI President and CEO Andrew G. Sharkey, III. "Along with the WTO filing against China's prohibited subsidies, this is another positive step in the effort to address the enormous problem of China's trade-distorting subsidies to manufacturing.
"However, a lot of damage has already been done - in 2006, the U.S. had a record $232 billion trade deficit with China; we saw a surge of imports of steel and steel-containing products from China; and since 2000, we have seen the flight of numerous manufacturing facilities to China,” Sharkey added. “Moreover, today's decision is a preliminary one and, as recognized by the DOC, important issues of methodology remain to be considered. With regard to steel, China continues to have the world's most heavily subsidized steel industry. Accordingly, we need every available trade remedy tool to counter these NME subsidies, starting with prompt passage of clear and strong legislation to ensure effective application of U.S. trade law to China and other NMEs."
to Daily News