Visclosky Testifies at ITC Hearing on Welded Stainless Steel Pressure Pipe
Washington, DC - Below are the prepared remarks of Congressman Pete Visclosky from today’s International Trade Commission (ITC) hearing on welded stainless steel pressure pipe.
I want to thank Chairman Williamson, Vice Chairman Johanson, all other members of the Commission, and the dedicated staff for the opportunity to testify today in the case involving welded stainless steel pressure pipe from India.
Today is the fifth time I have testified before you in an antidumping and countervailing duty case in 2016. I am encouraged that the Commission has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the diligent consideration of these cases, and I appreciate the continued opportunity to participate in those deliberations. However, I am concerned by how similar the facts of many of these cases seem to be and how consistently certain countries continue to violate our trade laws. Of the five cases I have testified in this year, this is the third involving products from India. Our foreign competitors are not backing down and we must not either.
The effect of these repeated trade law violations on the domestic pipe and tube market is glaringly evident. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 4,000 steel jobs were lost in 2015. Additionally, in 2015 imports captured 65 percent of the pipe and tube market share, an 11 percent increase from 2014. In that same time frame, domestic exports decreased by 38 percent. I encourage the Commission to continue to send a strong message to these countries that their unfair trade practices will not be tolerated and that if they continue to violate our trade laws they will be swiftly and significantly reprimanded.
The product we are discussing today, welded stainless steel pressure pipe, serves as a critical component in the processing of many essential products, including food, oil and gas, paper, and petrochemicals. This product is used particularly in corrosive environments, high temperature and pressure conditions, and in conditions that demand exceptionally high ease of maintenance and cleanliness. It is also used in nuclear power plants and liquefied natural-gas facilities. Ensuring that the highest quality, most reliable stainless steel pressure pipe products are being used in these cases is a matter of public safety. We cannot afford to use inferior products in such important elements of our energy infrastructure. American steelworkers make the best steel in the world, and they deserve to compete on a fair playing field with foreign competitors.
On September 8, 2016, the Congressional Steel Caucus, of which I am the Vice Chairman, convened a round table with Ambassador Froman and Secretary Pritzker to discuss challenges facing the domestic steel industry. I appreciated their willingness to have this discussion and the efforts of the current administration to address illegal steel imports. Secretary Pritzker and Ambassador Froman highlighted the efforts of the Administration to convene a Global Forum on steel and the current enforcement actions being taken against countries that violate our trade laws. This Commission plays a critical role in holding these countries accountable and ensuring that our domestic producers have a fair chance to compete. It was a productive conversation, but we must do more and we must continue to be vigilant.
In conclusion, I urge you to recognize the material injury caused by these imports. Indian steel producers have proven time and time again that they are unwilling to follow our trade laws. We must prove that time and time again we will hold them accountable for their illegal actions and act to protect American steelworkers and steel producers who are playing by the rules.
I thank you all for the opportunity to testify here today and appreciate your thorough investigation of the facts of this case.