The American Institute for International Steel called antidumping cases filed earlier this week with the U.S. government by a group of domestic reinforcing bar manufacturers against suppliers in Turkey and Mexico the wrong way to deal with a depressed market.
AIIS warned the domestic rebar industry, after more than five years of weak markets for its most important source of demand - nonresidential construction, is again looking to the U.S. government’s trade laws to remove certain import competition it believes is unfair.
“Government-sponsored trade protection has never solved demand related market weakness, and it will not now," said David Phelps, AIIS president, in a statement. “Weak demand creates intensified competition and if the competition comes from other U.S. domestic companies, no law is available to domestic companies to use. But should foreign suppliers to the U.S. market act in the very same way in difficult markets, the domestic industry all too often has resorted to protectionist trade case filings.”
AIIS said the United States has suffered from weak demand since the beginning of mid-2008. With weak demand and a weak dollar, competition has been challenging for all suppliers in the rebar market.
“A responsibly shared supply profile of domestic and import product, however, is important to our customers and creates jobs and manufacturing competitiveness for all the downstream customers and ultimately all of us as consumers,” said John Foster, AIIS chairman. “History has shown trade protection is not the answer.”