Industry Testifies to Include Fabricated Structural Steel in Section 301 Tariffs

Last week, David Zalesne, chairman of AISC and president of Owen Steel Company, Columbia, S.C. (an AISC member and certified fabricator), testified on behalf of the fabricated structural steel industry in front of the U.S. Trade Representative Section 301 Committee in Washington, D.C., in support of applying 25% duties under Section 301 of the Trade Act to the products described by six Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Codes relating to fabricated structural steel imported from China.

Zalesne stated, "While many steel mill products from China are subject to duties under several antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders and the Section 232 action, fabricated steel products are not subject to such duties. Consequently, Chinese steel mill products that are converted into fabricated steel products enter the U.S. market essentially duty-free, circumventing the duties that are specifically imposed on mill products." Ultimately, this promotes circumvention of the tariffs that are meant to protect the U.S. steel industry.

Brian Raff, AISC's director of government affairs, added, "It is important to note that AISC has never supported nor has it opposed trade action. However, since tariffs were levied on mill steel without providing protection to downstream fabricators, it is imperative that the government take action to close the loophole described above."

Facts and Figures:

  • China was responsible for exporting nearly 500,000 tons of fabricated structural steel worth $831 million into the United States in 2017.
  • China represents nearly 40% of the world's share of fabricated structural steel sent into the United States.
  • Since 2010, imports of Chinese fabricated structural steel have increased 290%.

Zalesne's full testimony is available for download.