US steel wonders if interventions are enough to keep imports at bay

A couple decades or so ago, Bethlehem Steel, then the USA’s second largest steelmaker, introduced a team of trade attorneys as it was about to embark on another round of massive unfair trade case filings against steel imports. It wasn’t unusual for mills to have trade case attorneys, either in-house or on retainer, but Bethlehem was making a statement: This is how we roll. International steel dumpers, we’re coming to get you. It was as though Bethlehem was establishing a new division as it prepared to continuously cast trade litigation. Its efforts and those of other US mills were not wasted. Multiple unfair trade case filings against multiple countries covering multiple steel products overwhelmed the US government, leading to multi-year blanket protection programs like America’s 7.5-year Voluntary Restraint Agreements on global steel trade in the late 1980s and the Section 201 market safeguards of the early 2000s. Today it’s different. US mills still file trade cases, sometimes massively, but it seems the days when the government would step in to enact comprehensive solutions are over. Even standard remedies such as the establishment of anti-dumping  (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) against subsidized steel are not as robust as they used to

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Source: CTRM Center

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