RELEASE:

MISS. SENATORS WANT LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR U.S. STEEL INDUSTRY

Cochran, Wicker Press Administration to Address Unfair Rebar Imports from Turkey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today asked the Obama administration to take action to help the U.S. steel industry compete on a level playing field with imports that are subsidized by foreign governments.

The Mississippi Senators joined 23 colleagues on a letter that asks Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to quickly complete an administrative review of a countervailing duties order on government-subsidized Turkish rebar in order to ensure that accurate penalties are assessed against this product. Complaints about unfair Turkish imports are part of a years-long effort by the U.S. steel industry to persuade the U.S. Court of International Trade and U.S. International Trade Commission to pursue penalties against unfair rebar imports.

“American steel manufacturers need the Commerce Department to take the next steps to ensure the enforcement of justifiable duties against unfair imports. This is a matter of economic fairness to our steel industry in Mississippi and around the country. Unfair imports should not be allowed to undercut the U.S. market,” Cochran said.

“Mississippi steel workers deserve to know that their government is fighting to ensure that unfair trade practices will not be tolerated,” Wicker said. “The Administration needs to protect American companies and jobs from being directly undermined by imports of steel rebar subsidized by foreign governments. Taking action now would allow our workers to remain competitive globally.”

The Nucor Corp., with operations in Starkville and Flowood, is a member of the Rebar Trade Action Coalition, which is the primary petitioner filing countervailing duty and antidumping cases on imports of rebar from Turkey. Despite rulings favorable to the U.S. industry, rebar imports from Turkey have doubled since 2010 and continue to surge. Today, about 80 percent of rebar imports to the United States are from Turkey.

“We thank Senators Cochran and Wicker for standing with all of us here at Nucor Steel Jackson as we continue to fight an onslaught of unfairly traded rebar from Turkey,” said Kevin Van de Ven, general manager of Nucor Steel Jackson, Inc. “The unrelenting flood of imports is threatening the livelihoods of our 278 teammates and must be addressed by our government as quickly and strongly as possible.”

In their letter to Pritzker, Senators wrote, “We must ensure that our antidumping and countervailing duties accurately reflect unfair trade practices so that U.S. workers and businesses can compete on a level playing field and are protected from unfairly-traded imports.

“As members who represent rebar manufacturing facilities, we understand the negative impacts that unfairly-traded imports can have on this industry, its workers, and their families, as well as on the American economy. The industry employs more than 10,000 workers throughout the country, all of whom rely on the effective enforcement of our trade laws.”

Cochran and Wicker have for years actively worked to pressure the federal government and other agencies to extend and maintain antidumping duties imposed on steel products imported on an unfair basis from countries like Turkey, Mexico, China, Indonesia, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Moldova and Poland.

2/5/16