The U.S. Department of Commerce has ruled that seven countries violated trade laws by dumping hot-rolled steel on U.S. markets. The ruling means those nations could face financial sanctions on those products for up to five years once a final determination is made next month.
The United Steelworkers and Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan praised the ruling, saying it will level the playing field for companies like U.S. Steel in Granite City, which idled more than 2,000 workers late last year and earlier this year due to a slow-down in the market for hot-rolled steel. The slow down was blamed on the flood of imported steel by countries like Australia, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The Steelworkers also blame a glut of cheap Chinese steel imports that are also flooding worldwide markets, including the U.S., and forcing the steel industry slowdown. Seven other states have seen steelworker layoffs over the last several years due to the downturn in U.S. production. The U.S. International Trade Commission final injury determination must be made by September 19 of this year on the amount of duties against the seven nations for hot-rolled steel exports.