The United States Steel Industry After years of restructuring, an investment of approximately $50 billion in new plant and equipment, the application of world-class manufacturing technologies and increased labor productivity, the United States steel industry is among the most competitive in the world. With the application of advanced technology, automation has replaced the more labor intensive practices of the past, making the industry energy efficient and environmentally responsible.
Despite the increased steel production within the United States, foreign imports of steel to the United States hit record levels in the past two years. In 1998, the United States had the highest steel import ever. The United States imported 41.5 million tons of steel products, up thirty three percent from the previous record of 31 million tons imported in 1997.
The combined result of numerous steel industrial policies is that the world has tremendous excess production capacity in steel. Dumping, which is sales in export markets below cost or sales below the price in the home market, is the frequent result.
In response to the recent increase of steel imports, a group of major U.S. steel producers filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Commerce alleging that the steel imports from Brazil, Japan and Russia are sold in the United States at less than fair value.
Under the Tariff Act of 1930, U.S. industries may petition the government for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair value or which benefit from subsidies provided through foreign government programs. Under the law, the Department of Commerce determines whether the dumping or subsidizing exists, and if so, the margin of dumping or the amount of the subsidy. The ITC determines whether the dumped or subsidized imports materially injure or threaten...