Ruling expected on Chinese import duties

A $100 million investment by U.S. Steel into Lorain Tubular Operations is meant to better serve the company’s oil and natural gas customers, company officials told U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown during a tour of the facility Friday.

Brown visited the plant, joined by U.S. Steel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John P. Surma, to tour the No. 6 Quench and Temper finishing line. Lorain Tubular Operations employs more than 700 Ohioans and its products contribute to U.S. Steel’s standing as North America’s largest integrated tubular products manufacturer, according to information released by Brown’s office.

Brown’s tour comes one week before the Department of Commerce’s expected ruling on a petition regarding product coverage for duties ordered on Oil Country Tubular Goods from China. OCTG are used for domestic oil exploration, particularly in the shale industry, and are produced in Ohio by companies including U.S. Steel in Lorain, V&M Star in Youngstown, Wheatland Tube in Warren and JMC Steel in Brookfield.

Brown has been involved in efforts to provide the company with relief from Chinese steel pipe imports, helping to maintain and expand the Lorain operations. Brown said he wrote this week to urge the Department of Commerce to extend the duties on Chinese steel imports.

“U.S. Steel’s expansion in Lorain is a model for the rest of the country and a testament to the strength of Ohio’s manufacturing base,” Brown said. “Our state is adding manufacturing jobs for the first time since the 1990s and our hard-working men and women are a major reason why. I look forward to U. S. Steel continuing that progress.”

Surma supported the senator’s efforts.

“Senator Brown’s strong, repeated support for efforts to push back against unfair trade and strictly enforce trade laws is well documented, including his stirring testimony before the International Trade Commission in an important 2010 case involving the kinds of OCTG products made in this very facility,” Surma said. “The Senator’s efforts are making it possible for American industries and workers to compete on a level playing field and take full advantage of opportunities such as shale resource development.”