Thursday, November 5, 2009

Breaking News: US Tariff for Chinese Steel Pipes

First, a reminder about the Mayor Williams in Paris story:

Last week, the U.S. International Trade Commission voted 6-0 to approve an investigation into imports of $380 million in subsidized steel pipe from China. The investigation, which could result in duties of nearly 100% on the imports, followed a petition filed by V&M and other domestic steel companies.

Williams said he would be testifying in December on the “first-hand impact” of unfair trade practices on communities like Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, and why duties and countervailing measures should be implemented “should China continue these actions,” he said.

“Favorable trade rulings are another important component that V&M is looking at as they determine whether or not to expand here,“ said Walt Good, vice president of economic development, business retention and expansion for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

About 30-minutes ago, the Financial Times issued this report:

The US hit China with another big trade action on Thursday as it slapped ­preliminary anti-dumping duties on $2.6bn worth of Chinese pipe imports.

The commerce department’s decision to impose duties of up to 99 per cent on imports of some steel pipes is the latest in a string of trade spats between over tyres, cars and chickens. It comes less than a fortnight before President Barack Obama’s first visit to China.

The ruling will affect more imports by value than Mr Obama’s recent move to impose duties on Chinese tyres, which sparked an international row in which Beijing accused the US of “rampant protectionism”.

The decision was a victory for steel companies, including US Steel Corporation, that petitioned for the duties in April. The United Steelworkers union said the decision was “an overdue message for thousands of American laid-off workers that trade laws are being enforced”. It says nearly half the domestic industry’s workers have been laid off.

I still think V&M Star intended all along to expand in Youngstown. But given Walt Good's comments, the prospects look even brighter.

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