U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, and Republican Rob Portman, both of Ohio, are pushing the Commerce Department to maintain anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties on Chinese steel pipe imports.
Oil country tubular goods, used for domestic oil exploration, particularly in the shale industry and produced in Ohio by U.S. Steel in Lorain, V&M Star in Youngstown, Wheatland Tube in Warren and JMC Steel in Brookfield, could be the losers if Chinese steel dumping is permitted.
"The oil country tubular steel industry supports hundreds of good-paying Ohio jobs that are vulnerable to unfair trade practices carried out by the Chinese, including currency manipulation and duty evasion," Brown said Monday.
"Our workers can compete with anyone on a level playing field, and import duties help do exactly that. Maintaining import duties is critical to ensuring that the steel pipe industry in Ohio remains intact."
Portman backed that, saying thousands of American workers are at risk if the trade protections are watered down to allow cheap Chinese products to "skirt American customs regulations."
''American manufactured goods must be on a level playing field with their global competitors, and I urge the Department of Commerce to protect these workers in Northeast Ohio and across the country," Portman said.
The two senators were among 10 senators to sign a letter Monday sent to the Acting Secretary of Commerce.
They maintain efforts to evade or circumvent the the orders will enable Chinese companies to dump massive quantities of subsidized Chinese OCTG into the U.S. without paying the duties. ''Chinese actions will result in further injury to the thousands of American workers and businesses as well as the weakening of U.S. trade law,'' the letter states.
''It is important that the Department work closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to make sure that schemes to evade these orders are detected and prevented.''