Support for U.S. Steel vital to area’s economy

Rosemarie Brown

As the executive director of our Chamber of Commerce, I have not asked you all to do a lot of things, simply because I know how busy everyone is, but this is vital to the entire area.

I received an email today from U.S. Steel’s Illinois lobbyist, Mr. Ed Peck, who the chamber has been working with for a while. Today, he is asking if we as community could generate letters of support for this Section 337 Complaint that U.S. Steel has filed with the International Trade Commission. Please read the complaint and if you are in agreement, please take the time to write a letter of support.

The International Trade Commission has up to 30 days to evaluate the petition for relief and decide whether to initiate the case. The Granite City Works is asking friends for letters of support to ensure the ITC will in fact initiate the case.

I have talked and/or sent this information to Alan Dunstan, Madison County Chairman; Rhonda Sauget, Executive Director Leadership Council; Mayor Hagnauer, Mayor John Hamm, Mayor Echols, Mayor Mike Pagano and of course to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. But the corporate offices of U.S. Steel and the International Trade Commission need to hear from each of our businesses, from each of our residents; we need to express just how important the steel industry is to this area and how many of our businesses depend directly on U.S. Steel Granite City Works.

Let’s pull together for the well-being of this entire area; please take the time to write the letter, and send or email me a copy.  I will make sure the corporate offices of U.S. Steel have copies of every letter that I receive. It would be great to generate hundreds of support letters locally but the letters must be on the desk of The Honorable Thomas Forman and the Honorable Penny Prtizker before May 18.

For information, visit the chamber’s website or Facebook page.

Below is the letter from Mario Longhi, president and CEO of U.S. Steel Corp.

The Honorable Michael Froman

United States Trade Representative

600 17th Street, N.W.  

Washington, D.C. 20508

The Honorable Penny Prtizker

Secretary

U.S. Department of Commerce

1401 Constitution Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20230

Dear Ambassador Froman and Secretary Pritzker,

We offer our full support of the Section 337 complaint filed by U. S. Steel Corporation against the illegal unfair methods of competition and unfair acts in the importation and sale of steel products in the United States.

The allegations against these respondents are disturbing:  Illegal conspiracy to fix prices and control output and export volumes; the theft of trade secrets by industrial espionage; and the circumvention of hard won duties ordered by the ITC and Department of Commerce by false labeling and transshipment.

We strongly urge this Administration to ensure that U. S. Steel Corporation is permitted to present its case, advance its theories and evidence, and probe the activities of the respondents. The good men and women of the American steel industry deserve this opportunity to examine respondents under penalty of perjury and compel relevant documents. Moreover, the American people deserve to witness our adjudicatory process at its best in this bold, legal action.

This U.S. Steel 337 investigation must go forward.

The impact of Chinese steel produced with these unfair methods of competition and other illegal practices has a profoundly negative impact on our national economic health and our nation’s national security interests.

While we commend you and the administration for your steadfast efforts to address the global overcapacity of steel and the myriad trade issues affecting the American manufacturing industry, the U.S. Steel Section 337 complaint is a private right of action and warrants full consideration and a robust investigation.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you as this 337 action moves forward and to prevent unfairly-traded steel imports from further harming American jobs.

U. S. Steel Files ITC Complaint – Fact Sheet

On April 26, 2016, U. S. Steel filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to initiate an investigation under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, against the largest Chinese steel producers and their distributors.

The complaint alleges three causes of action: the illegal conspiracy to fix prices, the theft of trade secrets and the circumvention of trade duties by false labeling.

Section 337 provides relief in light of specific actions, the threat or effect of which is to destroy or substantially injure a domestic industry, prevent the establishment of such an industry, or restrain or monopolize trade and commerce in the U.S.

The actions covered under Section 337 include the infringement of intellectual property rights as well as unfair methods of competition and unfair acts in the importation and sale of products in the U.S.

The ITC has up to 30 days to evaluate the petition for relief and decide whether to initiate the case.

If the matter proceeds, an administrative law judge is then assigned to the case.

During the evidentiary discovery process, the parties may seek the issuance of nationwide subpoenas and orders for the production of relevant documents.

The ITC may adopt, modify or reverse the Initial Determination when it issues its Final Determination.

The order of the ITC becomes effective within 60 days of issuance, unless disapproved by the President of the United Sates for policy reasons.

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