The United States has the largest Trade deficit and we can no longer afford to be ignorant or naive in the aggressive global marketplace. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that he would employ the department's authority under Congress, Section 504 of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, to address market distortions in the production of foreign merchandise that can enable and facilitate dumping practices. The department will take action to give relief to U.S. businesses and workers, and ensure that all international businesses play on a level field. The United States can no longer afford to single-handedly absorb the $500 billion trade surplus of the rest of the world.

Korean steel producers dumping

Since January 20, the Department of Commerce has made preliminary or final determinations on 34 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations impacting more than $3.6 billion of dumped or unfairly subsidized domestic imports. Early last week, after reviewing the final report on the Republic of Korea that covered from July 2014 to August 2015, it was found that the prices of hot rolled coil used to produce oil country tubular goods, plus their electric prices, was distorted. Korean steel producers were found to be dumping OCTG materials; and selling them below fair value in the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection were instructed to assess duties and collect cash deposits from Korea equal to the dumping margins of said products.

Injury from Spain to be investigated

The next day, Secretary Ross announced that after an anti-dumping investigation, petitioned by Boltex Manufacturing Co., L.P. (Texas) and Weldbend Corporation (Ill.), of finished carbon steel flanges from Spain, it was determined that Spain was unfairly dumping their product at a range of 18.81 percent to 24.43 percent.

The U.S. International Trade Commission will conduct its own investigation to determine if there was any type of injury caused by Spain's dumping of finished carbon steel flanges, a final determination is scheduled for the last week in May. If harm has been done, the U.S. Customs and Border's Protection will once again be instructed to collect cash deposits from Spain equal to the dumping margins of said product.

Senators fight for shrimp producers

This Monday, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., requested that the U.S. International Trade Commission continue the existing anti-dumping duties imposed in 2005 on Brazil, China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam against their frozen, warm water shrimp imports. They stated that the duties have greatly helped the shrimp harvesters and producers in Mississippi, as well as other U. S. shrimp producing states, and they felt that the absence of these duties would greatly hurt the American shrimp harvesters and processors.

This request comes as the Commission is about to conclude their second sunset review of the case, encouraging the Commission to vote yes on keeping the anti-dumping duties in place as they have been a great benefit to the Gulf Coast shrimp industry.

Before the anti-dumping orders were imposed, domestic prices for shrimp were quickly losing ground trying to compete with unfairly priced imports, and there was great fear that the nation's domestic shrimp industry would be destroyed.

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