Congressman Tim Ryan Submits Written Testimony in Support of District OCTG Manufactures to the International Trade Commission

Jul 22, 2014 Issues: Helping Working Families, Manufacturing

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Tim Ryan submitted written testimony to the International Trade Commission, urging them to uphold the Federal Trade Commission’s recent preliminary decision against illegal Korean dumping of OCTG goods.

“Korea and other countries have been dumping tubular goods into the United States at the expense of our own workers, many of them in my own District,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. "As I have said many times, our workers can compete for and win the market on a level playing field, but other countries must play by the same rules.”

“We are encouraged by the Department of Commerce’s recent findings regarding duties on low priced imported Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) from Korea and the other eight countries," said Dave Mitch, President and CEO of TMK IPSCO, who also testified. “We have seen intense pressure from low-priced and unfairly traded imports for more than a year and a half. This has negatively impacted jobs and capital for investment. As an Ohio employer, TMK IPSCO appreciates Congressman Ryan’s support on this important issue.”

Congressman Ryan’s testimony is as follows:

Testimony of U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH-13)
Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from India, Korea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam
U.S. International Trade Commission – 500 E Street, SW Washington DC
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 – 9:30AM

Good Morning, Chairwoman Broadbent and Members of the Commission. I would like to convey my sentiments regarding a case that is vital to the rejuvenation of the United States and Ohio’s economy and the creation of jobs in my Congressional district. Please accept my sincere appreciation for the work you have done thus far regarding the Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) case. You have found in the past that the Chinese producers of OCTG are part of a massive, overbuilt Chinese industry supported by Chinese government subsidies. Preliminary determinations by the Department of Commerce confirm – what I and the industry have believed for some time – that a number of countries are dumping their products into the United States and taking good-paying jobs away from American workers; including those at JMC Steel, TMK IPSCO, and Vallourec Star.

In July of 2013, these companies joined other industry partners in filing a case against Korea and the eight other countries for illegally dumping products into our market. Korean steel tubular imports have skyrocketed over the years – exceeding 1 million tons in 2013, representing 40% of all imports and taking approximately 20% of the U.S. market. In addition, more than 900,000 tons of welded line pipe were imported from Korea in 2013, taking approximately 30% of the U.S. welded line pipe market. Both of these tubular products are vital to the growing energy sector and are important to the future of Ohio’s economy as we continue to expand natural gas exploration.

Ohio’s economy has experienced a resurgence in recent years partially attributed to new investments by the steel industry; however these gains have seen setbacks due to the ongoing flood of imports. Ohio’s 13th Congressional District is pleased that Vallourec built a new, $1 billion seamless OCTG facility in Youngstown. This investment created over 350 new jobs, which has resonated throughout the entire Youngstown and Northeast Ohio region. Since this investment, however, the plant has been struggling to compete with OCTG imports – particularly from Korea. In addition, TMK has announced reductions in its workforce at a number of facilities, while JMC Steel has instituted layoffs of over 100 workers in their three plants, including their Warren, Ohio plant in my Congressional District.

Over the past few years, Ohio has become one of the top steel producing states, but this position will be threatened if we continue to allow foreign countries to create an unfair playing field. My state needs these secure, well-paying jobs to help revive our community and region. Unfairly traded imports of OCTG threatens these companies and these new investments. Without effective relief against imports of OCTG, as well as relief against line pipe from the Korean pipe industry, which has no home market for energy products, Chinese and Korean produced steel will displace most of the U.S. energy tubular industry. This will lead to bankruptcies, plant closures, and the loss of thousands of jobs.

Ohio has some of the most talented and highly productive workers in the world, and all they have ever asked for is a level-playing field. Your decision can take us one step closer to making that happen. I ask that you continue to support American workers and do everything in your power to find that these imports undermine and threaten the best interests of U.S. industries.

Such a finding will provide for fair trade and attract investment and revive domestic manufacturing in my Congressional district and throughout the United States. Thank you very much.