Steel Industry Requests Action by U.S. Trade Rep. Kirk
Mar 27, 2009
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In a letter to the Ambassador Ron Kirk, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI), Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA), and the United Steelworkers (USW) urged Ambassador Kirk to "consult with other governments and to request immediate consultations" regarding Chinese actions to boost steel exports by reintroducing or enlarging Value Added Tax (VAT) rebates.

If China moves forward with this plan, the groups say that unfairly traded Chinese steel exports to the United States and other countries are likely to expand rapidly. In addition, the letter states that "an increase in imports from China would have a devastating impact on the American steel industry and on its workers and communities across the country. China is attempting to keep its steel mills running by exporting more steel to the U.S. at the very time the American steel industry has seen demand for its products plummet. In essence, China is trying to export its unemployment here. A further surge at this time in unfairly traded exports of Chinese steel would force America’s steel producers to cut production even more, and could lead to the loss of many more jobs."

The letter goes on to state that "These moves could raise unemployment in the United States and destabilize the world economy. The United States government should make it absolutely clear to the government of China that China’s proposed course of action will damage the American economy at a time when global economic recovery depends very much upon recovery in the United States. If China wishes to produce more steel, it should do so by stimulating its own domestic demand for steel, not exports."

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