AISI Hails Trade Laws Strengthening Currency and Customs Enforcement Provisions Adopted by Senate Finance Committee

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For Immediate Release
April 22, 2015

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – American Iron and Steel President (AISI) President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson issued the following statement regarding the inclusion of provisions in trade legislation that support the steel industry’s positions to strengthen trade laws, enhance customs enforcement and address currency manipulation:

“These improvements to our trade laws have been a long time coming, and we are grateful to the provisions’ sponsors for working with the steel industry to ensure this critical language was included in the trade bill.

“We applaud Senators Portman, Brown, Burr, Casey, Coats and Bennet for their leadership in proposing legislation to improve the administration and enforcement of the antidumping and countervailing duty laws. Our industry continues to face a flood of imports coming into this country unfairly and at record levels, with finished imports taking the highest share of the U.S. market we have ever seen. If enacted into law, these provisions will ensure that our trade laws remain an effective tool for domestic companies and workers to use to remedy the injury caused by imports benefitting from foreign trade-distorting practices.

“In addition, a number of our trading partners continue to intervene directly in foreign exchange markets to make their exports more competitive and to impose new barriers to imports from the U.S. That is why it is critical for the U.S. to negotiate strong and enforceable disciplines against the trade-distorting practice of currency manipulation in all new trade agreements and to provide a remedy to currency manipulation under our existing countervailing duty law, and why we strongly supported the Portman-Stabenow amendment to strengthen the currency negotiating objective in the TPA bill and the Schumer, Brown, Stabenow, Portman, Burr amendment to create a remedy against currency manipulation under the countervailing duty law. We are pleased the Schumer amendment was adopted but disappointed the Finance Committee did not pass the Portman-Stabenow amendment.

“The ENFORCE Act adopted by the Finance Committee as part of the trade legislation package is also critical to ensuring transparent and fair enforcement of U.S. trade remedy laws by creating a new process for industry to petition for action to address fraud and evasion of trade remedy orders. We are grateful to the Committee leadership for including this in the package, and are currently working with allied trade associations to secure the same provisions in legislation being considered by the Ways and Means Committee later this week.”

AISI, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Wire Producers Association, and the Coalition to Enforce Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders today sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee urging them to include the Senate ENFORCE Act version of the bill in their customs bill.  The letter can be found here.

Click here for a PDF version of this release.

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 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI's website at www.steel.org. Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).