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US Steel Industry body welcomes passage of Customs Bill

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has welcomed the House passage of the much-awaited Customs Bill. According to AISI, the passage of the bill is a positive step for the country’s struggling steel industry. It also noted that the legislation will help bolster the nation’s customs enforcement efforts. It must be noted that the House had voted 256-158 to pass the legislation, which will now head for Senate approval next week and finally to President Obama for signature.

The legislation provides the domestic industry with new tools to address the evasion of antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders. The measure would ensure that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials investigate industry claims of AD/CVD evasion by set statutory deadlines.

Thomas J. Gibson, President and CEO, AISI noted that the share of dumped and subsidized steel imports have recently jumped to record levels. This has hurt the domestic steel industry in the country. The rising imports have resulted in temporary production halts and employee layoffs. The strict enforcement of the ENFORCE Act, as mentioned in the Customs bill, will ensure effective implementation of trade remedies to the benefit of local industry.

“We commend the leadership of the Congressional Steel Caucus, and many of our steel champions in Congress, who worked with us and our member companies to make sure the steel industry’s dire situation was front and center in trade debates. While we may have won some battles, we are still fighting the war -- to combat trade distorting practices of foreign producers and governments. Today’s victory is a positive step, however, and we urge the Senate to pass this bill quickly and the President to sign it into law next week,” Gibson concluded.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.

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