Steel Caucus Secures Commitment on Trade Enforcement Provisions
Washington D.C.– As a result of efforts by the House Congressional Steel Caucus, led by Chairman Tim Murphy and Vice Chairman Peter J. Visclosky, House Ways & Means Chairman Paul Ryan committed to include legislation sought by the Steel Caucus in the customs and trade enforcement bill scheduled for debate in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bi-partisan House Steel Caucus, which is comprised of more than 100 members of Congress, sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seeking trade remedies advanced in the Senate by Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH). The secured trade remedies, reflected in the letter below, would ensure the steel industry’s survival in the global economy.
By weeks end, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, through his spokesman, stated: “This provision is a top priority of the House Steel Caucus and Sen. Portman, and Chairman Ryan has made a commitment to them to include it in the House customs and trade enforcement bill.”
“The Congressional Steel Caucus applauds Chairman Ryan’s leadership and is grateful for his commitment to allow consideration of these critical provisions that will strengthen our trade laws," said Congressman Tim Murphy. “Strong and effective trade enforcement provisions will play a critical role in growing domestic steel’s impact in our national and international economy.”
“I appreciate Chairman Ryan’s commitment to consider these essential provisions as highlighted by members of the Congressional Steel Caucus. I believe this is a step in the right direction towards protecting hardworking Americans and our manufacturing base from unfair trade practices.” said Congressman Pete Visclosky.
Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi:
We write today as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus to express our support for trade legislation that will strengthen the American steel industry and allow American steel workers to compete on a level playing field in our global economy.
The Congressional Steel Caucus is a bi-partisan group of over 100 Members of Congress that represent companies and employees involved in the steel industry. On March 26, 2015, the Steel Caucus convened a hearing on the State of the Steel. During this hearing, chief executive officers from leading steel companies, including U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal, and Nucor, as well as a representative from the United Steelworkers, expressed concern about the shortcomings of U.S. trade remedy laws, which are the means by which the American steel industry can mitigate the harm from unfairly traded foreign imports. However, by the time this mitigation process is complete, the American jobs are already lost and the American companies have already lost their market share.
We ask that the House consider trade remedies reflecting the provisions advanced by the Senate Committee on Finance as well as those adopted on the Senate floor, which will allow the American steel industry to accomplish the following:
- Strengthen and improve our anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws;
- Establish a means to petition Customs and Border Protection to take action in a timely manner to combat the evasion of anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders;
- Enhance the ability of the Department of Commerce to select appropriate facts when a foreign party fails to cooperate with an unfair trade investigation;
- Clarifies that the International Trade Commission (ITC) should not deny relief merely because the domestic industry is profitable or because its performance has recently improved, and clarify the factors the ITC should consider in making its material injury determination;
- Provide the Department of Commerce with the flexibility to use prices or costs that are not distorted when calculating dumping and clarifies its authority regarding the selection of voluntary respondents.
We thank you for your consideration. Steel is an essential component of our national security and domestic manufacturing base, and we must do all that we can to ensure its survival in our global economy.
Congressman Tim Murphy, Chairman, Congressional Steel Caucus
Congressman Peter J. Visclosky, Vice Chairman, Congressional Steel Caucus
The Congressional Steel Caucus consists of 134 bipartisan Members of Congress who represent various steel-producing districts. The Caucus works to ensure that the domestic steel industry remains strong by advancing legislative initiatives and convening the annual State of Steel hearing. The caucus also petitions the Department of Commerce regarding illegal dumping by foreign competitors and members often provide testimony before the United States International Trade Commission.