The strongest enforcement of our country’s trade laws should be a non-partisan goal of our lawmakers. Many industries, including the steel industry in Pennsylvania, have been decimated or destroyed by floods of unfairly traded imports.
The United States is the freest, most open market in the world. American manufacturers are expected to make themselves competitive in the global economy, but they should not be expected to compete with unfairly priced (“dumped,” as defined by our trade laws) imports in our own market.
A preliminary ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that eight countries are dumping oil country tubular goods in the United States. However, they failed to find wrongdoing by South Korea, the primary source of the imported product.
A bipartisan group of 57 senators signed a letter to the secretary of commerce urging that, prior to making a final determination in early July, the department should scrutinize the accuracy of the data provided to them by Korean steelmakers.
One notably absent signature from that letter was that of Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey.
On June 2, United States Steel announced the indefinite idling of pipe facilities in McKeesport and Texas, costing 260 jobs “as a result of business conditions which are influenced by unfairly traded tubular products imported into the United States.” Sen. Toomey, why are you not fighting for the jobs of your constituents?