The Congressional Steel Caucus is urging President Trump to defend the American steel industry and its workers during his visit to China.
In a letter to Trump dated Tuesday--co-signed by U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st--the caucus asks the president to “address the issues of chronic global steel overcapacity, illegal government subsidies and state-owned enterprises, and other trade distorting practices that have injured the American steel sector.”
Excerpts from the letter:
“American steelworkers are constantly threatened by the unfair trade practices of China. Today, China produces more steel than every other country in the world combined and contributes over half of the 700 million metric tons of global steel overcapacity. We know that America makes the most innovative and cost effective steel in the world, but we cannot compete against China when they do not follow trading norms.
“For years, China has stated that it will work to address the issue of steel overcapacity by imposing capacity reductions; however, those words continue to ring hollow. . . . The rapid growth of the Chinese steel overcapacity is directly tied to the proliferation of illegal government subsidies and state-owned enterprises. It is estimated that 95 percent of steel produced by the top 20 Chinese steel groups comes from state-owned enterprises.
“Further, China has consistently sold products at less than fair market value to offload their overcapacity to other countries. The Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) have consistently taken corrective actions by imposing steep antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duties, sometimes in excess of 200 percent, on Chinese steel products that were found to be traded unfairly. Unfortunately, often times when these companies and their workers receive relief from the AD/CVD orders, the damage has already been done.
“China must do more to address these issues and ensure that their steel producers are operating by fair market principles. In your discussions during your visit with Chinese government officials, we respectfully ask that you not only raise these issues but defend the American steel industry, which is essential to our country’s national economy and our national security.”