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U.S. Imposes Tariffs on Chinese Steel Imports

By Kevin Robinson in News on Dec 31, 2009 5:00PM

Photo of U.S. Steel’s Garyworks Plant

The U.S. International Trade Commission approved tariffs on imports of steel pipes from China yesterday, in a move that signals an emphasis on American manufacturing by the Obama administration. A group of American steelmakers, including United States Steel (which has four plants in northern Indiana, one in downstate Illinois, and a warehousing facility on the South side of Chicago), and the United Steelworkers union sought trade duties earlier this year, claiming that the government-subsidized Chinese steel industry was flooding the American market with product that was being sold at artificially low prices. “The determination by the commission against illegal stainless steel pipe imports from China was desperately needed to preserve American family supportive jobs,”said USW President Leo Gerard. He pledged that “the USW and the companies who employ our members will continue to vigorously battle these Chinese unfair trade practices.”

Imports of Chinese steel into the United States have increased to over 31,000 tons since 2007, accounting for about 30 percent of the U.S. market. The move to impose duties against Chinese-subsidized steel tubing in the United States follows a year of trade tension between the White House and Beijing. Earlier this year Washington clamped down on imports of Chinese manufactured tires by imposing a 35 percent tariff in response to Beijing-sponsored market manipulation. Early next year the ITC is expected to rule on imports of steel grating.