03.04.16

SCHUMER REVEALS: NUCOR VULCRAFT AND THEIR HUNDREDS OF EMPLOYEES IN CHEMUNG ARE THREATENED BECAUSE FOREIGN PRODUCERS IN COUNTRIES, LIKE CHINA ARE DUMPING HUGE AMOUNTS OF STEEL INTO U.S.; SENATOR CALLS ON THE FEDS TO IMMEDIATELY LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

Artificially Cheap Steel Imports From China Are Flooding The U.S. Market, Making It Difficult For Southern Tier Steel Manufactures Like Vulcraft To Compete 

Schumer Urges U.S. Commence Department To Fight Against Unfair Dumping And Take Immediate Action To Protect Nucor Workers Against Artificially Cheap Steel From China

Schumer: It Is Time The Feds Put A Stop To Predatory Trade Practices  & Allow Key NY Industry To Thrive

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today revealed new attempts by China and other countries to undercut U.S. steel produces like Chemung’s Nucor Vulcraft plant. As a result, Schumer visited Chemung County to call on the Department of Commerce to protect Nucor and its workforce by addressing massive surges in imports of subsidized and predatorily-priced cold-rolled and corrosive-resistant steel. Schumer said the Department of Commerce should immediately use the tools at its disposal to level the playing field for Nucor and its 320 workers. Schumer said he is concerned that without swift actions, China will continue to flood the U.S. rebar market with cheap products in an attempt to snuff out U.S. competition.  

“The steel we use to build our businesses and buildings should be proudly stamped ‘Made in the U.S.A.,’ and more of it should come from Nucor. But in order for that to happen, we must stop foreign companies like those in China from dumping artificially cheap steel on our markets,” said Schumer. “Great manufactures like Nucor are ready to provide high-quality steel to businesses in and around the country, but anticompetitive practices from foreign produces threaten sales and jobs at companies here in the Unites States. That is why the Commerce Department needs to immediately crack down on foreign steel companies who artificially lower their prices, to put Nucor on a level playing field. If up against fair competition, I know Nucor will win, which would boost jobs right here in Chemung County.”

Schumer was joined by Nucor CEO and President John Ferriola, as well as Nucor’s steel workers and Chemung County officials, as he announced his push to get the Commerce Department to crack down on foreign steel manufactures who are exporting artificially cheaper products to American markets. Vulcraft employs over 320 workers in Chemung County, as well as over 20,500 employees in other facilities across the country.

Schumer noted that steel companies across the Empire State utilize the Chemung plant’s steel. Nucor’s quality American-made steel has been used in countless projects across New York including the University of Buffalo’s new medical school building, the Onondaga Lakeview Amphitheater and 3 World Trade Center. However, unfair foreign competition threatens Nucor’s market. The domestic steel industry continues to suffer from an unprecedented surge in dumped and subsidized imports. In 2015, steel imports captured 29 percent of the U.S. market, an all-time record. The Commerce Department is currently investigating whether imports of Corrosion-Resistant Steel and Cold-Rolled Steel from China and other countries are being subsidized or sold at below fair market value in the U.S.

Schumer said that it is no surprise that the Department’s preliminary investigations found that China was heavily subsidizing their steel exports and that they were selling steel in the U.S. at artificially cheap prices, far lower than the cost of producing them. The Department’s preliminary determinations found dumping and subsidy rates of more than 200 percent for Chinese producers in the Corrosion-Resistant Steel and Cold-Rolled Steel investigations. To correct for anticompetitive practices from foreign producers, the Commerce Department can levy a duty to bring the price of the imported good up to fair market value. That is why Schumer is urging the Department to carefully consider the domestic steel industry’s arguments in these investigations and use the tools at their disposal to place duties on imports that are dumped or subsidized.

Nucor Corporation is the largest domestic steel manufacturer in the United States. This Chemung County plant employs about 320 workers and provides steel for projects across the country. Nucor’s quality American-made steel has been used in countless projects across New York including the University of Buffalo’s new medical school building, the Onondaga Lakeview Amphitheater and 3 World Trade Center.

“Senator Schumer knows that strong New York manufacturing jobs are worth fighting for,” said Tom Batterbee, General Manager of Vulcraft of New York, Inc. “He is one of our strongest champions in Congress demanding that our government enforce our trade laws and that our trading partners are held accountable to the rules of international trade. Our Chemung and Auburn teams appreciate the Senator's unwavering support and are proud to present him with Nucor's Man of Steel Award today.”

A copy of Schumer’s letter to the Department of Commerce appears below:

Dear Secretary Pritzker:

I write regarding the current antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of Corrosion-Resistant Steel and Cold-Rolled Steel.  I respectfully urge the Department to carefully consider the domestic steel industry’s arguments in these investigations. We must do everything we can to protect our domestic steel industry and its workers from surges of dumped and subsidized imports.

Nucor’s Vulcraft site in Chemung, New York, produces joists and decking, relying on corrosion-resistant and cold-rolled steel components from other Nucor plants. This plant employs about 320 workers and provides steel for projects across the country. Nucor’s quality American-made steel has been used in countless projects across New York including the University of Buffalo’s new medical school building, the Onondaga Lakeview Amphitheater and 3 World Trade Center.

The domestic steel industry continues to suffer from an unprecedented surge in dumped and subsidized imports. In 2015, steel imports captured 29 percent of the U.S. market, an all-time record. Imports of cold-rolled steel from a number of countries have skyrocketed by 120 percent between 2012 and 2014. According to Census data, the U.S. imported nearly $1.2 billion worth of cold-rolled and corrosion-resistant steel from China alone in 2014. This surge comes as China’s government continues to heavily subsidize steel production, resulting in global oversupply.

It is no surprise that the Department’s preliminary countervailing duty determinations found high subsidy rates for China. The Department’s preliminary determinations found dumping and subsidy rates of more than 200 percent for Chinese producers in the Corrosion-Resistant Steel and Cold-Rolled Steel investigations. China is not alone, as dumped and subsidized imports from the other countries under investigation, including Korea, India, Taiwan, and Russia, continue to overwhelm the U.S. market, resulting in job losses in the steel industry across the country.

I commend the Department for basing subsidy rates for non-cooperating respondents from China on adverse facts available. The Department should also carefully consider the domestic industry’s concerns regarding the use of adverse facts available for other uncooperative respondents and governments in these investigations.  It is vitally important that the Department appropriately apply adverse fact available where governments and producers fail to provide key information in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. Congress recently passed legislation   enhancing the Department’s discretion to do just that. Non-cooperative respondents should not be allowed to get away with predatory trade practices that undermine our industries.

It is essential that we do everything that we can do to prevent predatory trade practices from destroying good-paying competitive American industries.  I urge you to take the necessary actions to fully enforce our trade laws.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this critical issue.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

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