AISI Strongly Supports USTR Request for WTO Dispute Settlement Panel

Washington, D.C., 2/16/2011 - The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) strongly supports a request made by the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) that the World Trade Organization (WTO) establish a dispute settlement panel to address the imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel from the United States.

“We commend U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and the Administration for taking definitive steps to have the WTO establish a dispute settlement panel to address this troubling determination that was made by the Chinese government, which appears to violate numerous WTO requirements,”  Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, said.   “We urge that WTO approve this request and move forward to assemble a panel.”

Gibson said that, according to USTR, China did not follow WTO requirements in numerous aspects of the antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings in this case, which in turn has led to serious and unjustified restrictions on exports of American steel.   He noted that, in contrast to the United States – where trade remedy procedures are transparent, WTO-consistent and provide due process for all parties -- China has engaged in a gross abuse of its trade remedy procedures by denying due process and access to key information and by using WTO-inconsistent methodologies.  

“We believe that China’s gross abuse of antidumping and countervailing duty procedures must be brought under WTO scrutiny in order to achieve clarity and an equitable solution to this unresolved dispute,” Gibson said.  “This failure of China, once again, to live up to its WTO obligations has hindered U.S. steel exports and put valuable American jobs at risk.”

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 140 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 80 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at www.steel.org.

Contact:
Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115