Visclosky Testifies at ITC Hearing on Rebar
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Pete Visclosky testified at the International Trade Commission (ITC) hearing on rebar from Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey. Below is a copy of Congressman Visclosky’s remarks as prepared for delivery.
I would like to thank Chairman Schmidtlein, Vice Chairman Johanson, members of the Commission, and all of your staff, for your continued work to strongly enforce American trade laws. I appreciate this opportunity to testify as part of today’s hearing on steel concrete reinforcing bar, also known as rebar, from Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey.
It is timely that the Commission is hearing this case during National Infrastructure Week, since rebar is such an essential component of our infrastructure. National Infrastructure Week was established by a large group of stakeholders, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the AFL-CIO, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to highlight the critical need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. The product we are talking about today is a long-rolled steel product that is primarily consumed by the construction industry and used to provide strength to concrete. Rebar is used in many types of structures, from skyscrapers to bridges. Without it, we could not do the work of building this nation.
It is essential to our national economy that we know how to make things. We need to know how to make steel products like rebar because these products are used in our transportation and critical systems of infrastructure. We need to know how to make things so that we constantly work to improve our knowledge and critical thinking skills. We also need these products to grow our economy and support jobs. Rebar producers in the United States employ over 10,000 workers at more than 100 facilities across the country. In order to ensure that American steel producers and steelworkers can continue to make things in this country and grow our knowledge base, we must work to guarantee that their products can compete on a level playing field.
I truly believe that the work you are doing here is the front line in protecting American steel producers and steelworkers from unfair trade. According to the Department of Commerce, there are currently 191 antidumping and countervailing duty orders on steel and steel-related products from 33 countries, which accounts for half of all existing orders. This indicates a diligent commitment to holding countries that violate our trade laws accountable. I trust that you will continue these efforts moving forward because there is still more work to be done.
Rebar imports from the countries we are discussing today have consistently threatened U.S. manufacturers. Between 2013 and 2015, imports of rebar from Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey increased 260 percent. So far in 2017, total rebar imports have increased 18 percent above the same period last year. In order to stop this trend, foreign countries must clearly receive the message that continued dumping and subsidizing of their products will not be tolerated.
As we recognize National Infrastructure Week, it is my hope that the Commission will act to protect an industry that is vital to this country’s infrastructure and our economy. I strongly urge an affirmative determination in this case.
I again thank you for your serious and thorough consideration. I deeply appreciate the opportunity to provide testimony today.