DOC’s preliminary findings leave workers exposed to Korean OCTG imports, says USW

February 20, 2014

Leo W. Gerard, president of United Steelworkers (USW) Intl., has issued a statement following the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) negative preliminary antidumping determination regarding oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from Korea.

"We are extremely disappointed with the DOC’s negative preliminary antidumping determination because American workers are paying the price for unfair trade. Since the U.S.-Korea trade agreement went into effect, the trade deficit with Korea has soared, costing thousands of U.S. jobs.

"Simply put, this determination could hand the energy tubular market to the Koreans, who exported 1 million tons of OCTG and 1 million tons of other pipe and tube to the U.S. in 2013.

"The USW believes the facts tell a very different story. All too often, foreign policy considerations and the sensitivities of our trading partners are given more weight than the jobs and livelihoods of our own people.

"Korea produces 100 percent of this product specifically for export because they do not use it at home. They'll sell it at any price they need to so they can steal sales in our market. It is time for our trade negotiators and administering personnel to put more energy into enforcing our laws and fighting for fair trade rather than defending the current trade model and the interests of others.

"A number of U.S. mills could possibly announce layoffs imminently because of the continued flood of imports caused by this decision. We urge the Obama Administration to vigorously enforce the trade laws or tens of thousands of jobs will be lost in the pipe and tube industry and the steel industry that supplies their feedstock."

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply, and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.