LANSING – State Representative John Kivela (D-Marquette) said today that House approval of his resolution demanding an end to foreign steel dumping puts foreign companies on notice that they can’t keep stealing American and Michigan jobs. House Resolution 87 calls on President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to take action to halt the illegal dumping of steel into our markets.
“We’ve seen foreign firms selling their products far cheaper than domestically produced steel. That’s unfair competition that puts our own companies, workers and jobs in jeopardy,” said Kivela. “Our Michigan companies will be at risk if we don’t immediately stop companies from dumping their steel and reaping profits at the expense of our workers and our local economies.”
Steel dumping into the U.S. violates the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that states that a product from another country shall not be introduced into the commerce of another country at a value less than the product’s normal price in the destination country. The federal government needs to take aggressive action against these tactics so that our Michigan steel companies are not harmed, workers are not laid off and markets for U.S. and Michigan steel are not lost to South Korea, China, Vietnam and India, among others, who are selling their products at predatory prices.
“We commend Representative John Kivela for his leadership in introducing H.R. 87, urging federal action to halt the historic levels of dumped and illegally subsidized steel entering the U.S.,” said Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources. “Cliffs’ Empire and Tilden iron ore mines in the Upper Peninsula are reliant on the viability of our customers in the domestic steel industry who have been and continue to be harmed by these unfairly traded imports. Stemming the flow of illegal steel imports will allow domestic producers to compete on a level playing field and benefit from a healthy U.S. demand for steel products.”
“In Michigan and other Midwestern states, thousands of steelworkers have already lost their jobs and mills are operating below their capacity because of this illegal dumping,” said Kivela. “Gov. Rick Snyder is pushing us to direct more students into good jobs in the trades, but those jobs in the steel industry and others aren’t going to be there if we don’t protect these companies. Approving my resolution today is an important step in our fight to keep Michigan and U.S. workers on the job.”
“The flood of what we believe are unfairly traded imports has significantly impacted AK Steel and other domestic steel producers,” said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel. “We expect our global steel competitors to play by the rules of fair trade. When they don’t, we expect our federal government to hold them accountable. We commend Representative Kivela and the Michigan House of Representatives for bringing attention to this important issue.”