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USW Says USITC Tariff Vote on Japan Steel Imports Saves Jobs

Steelworkers make specialized clad steel plate at ArcelorMittal, Coatesville, PA

COATESVILLE, Pa., Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Today's vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to sustain the tariff order on clad steel plate imports from Japan saves our steelworkers' jobs at the ArcelorMittal mill in Coatesville, PA," declared Sheldon Gregg, President of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1165.

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The USITC 4-2 vote was announced following a public hearing held last month that featured testimony by Gregg before the trade commission that decided revoking the current antidumping duty order on clad steel plate would be likely to lead to a loss of jobs.

"Some of the nearly 700 production steelworkers at the Coatesville mill would have had their jobs at risk if the trade commission delivered a different finding," Gregg said. According to the USW Local 1165 President, clad steel plate is a specialty product used in industrial chemical and petroleum refining vessels where corrosive resistance and strength are required.

He adds that the Coatesville mill is the only remaining USW-represented steel facility in the U.S. that makes clad steel plate. "We shouldn't become dependent on foreign steel imports and risk losing family supportive jobs for a critical production component used in domestic refining."

Employed 19 years at the Coatesville mill, Gregg testified Dec. 6 before the six trade commissioners, saying: "While we have avoided layoffs at Coatesville thus far, our clad plate operations have been downsizing through attrition. As is true of many other Americans today, my union members at the mill have a continued sense of uncertainty for the future.

"If the order is revoked, I have no doubt that Japanese clad steel plate will surge back into the U.S. market. Under present market conditions and at the level we are currently operating, I am extremely worried about the future of my members if that happens. No USW members' should lose their jobs to keep steel mills in Japan full."

The USITC action comes under the five-year sunset review process required by international trade laws. The commission vote was the third to reaffirm the original tariff order first placed in 1996 on clad steel imports.

The USW is a North American union representing 850,000 workers in the manufacturing, mining, energy and service sectors. For more information: www.usw.org.

Contact: Sheldon Gregg, 484-883-8301; [email protected]

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

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