Steel Industry Group Criticizes WTO Decision on Cumulative Assessment of Dumped and Subsidized Imports

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For Immediate Release
December 8, 2014

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) had strong words against a ruling today by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body, which upheld an earlier panel decision that ruled against the U.S. practice of cumulatively assessing the impact of dumped and subsidized imports when determining injury in trade cases.

AISI said the WTO Appellate Body today ruled against the U.S. government’s appeal of a challenge by India of earlier this summer regarding the International Trade Commission (ITC)’s practice of “cross-cumulating.” Under this process, as mandated by U.S. statute, the impact of dumped and subsidized imports are both taken into consideration when assessing injury in ITC determinations.

AISI president and CEO, Thomas J. Gibson, “The WTO decision today significantly weakens the effectiveness of U.S. trade laws. U.S. law expressly requires the ITC to cumulate dumped and subsidized imports when they are under simultaneous investigations. The WTO Appellate Body has once again created an obligation not agreed to by our trade negotiators, and this ruling will make it very difficult for domestic industries to obtain an effective remedy when facing both dumped and subsidized imports at the same time. This ruling is very detrimental to steel businesses and workers who continue to battle a flood of dumped and subsidized imports coming into this country unfairly— and at record levels.”

Gibson noted that steel imports captured 30 percent of the market share last month, according to Commerce Department data.

The WTO panel’s ruling today focused on specific countervailing duty measures imposed on imports of certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from India, saying they were inconsistent with the WTO Subsidies and Countervailing Measures agreement. However, the decision will likely have consequences for a number of other trade cases as well. The Appellate Body decision also made a number of other rulings affecting Commerce Department practice, and AISI is currently evaluating the significance of those rulings.

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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 20 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI's website at www.steel.org. Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).