After a year-long investigation, President Trump is poised to impose stiff tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imports into the U.S. for national security reasons. The move prompted angry responses from global trading partners, drawing warnings of an international trade war.
[FRANK DOWD IV | March 5, 2018 | Charlotte Pipe]
But America has been in a trade war for almost two decades – most of us just didn’t know it. President Trump is the first president from either party to recognize that trade has become a weapon our adversaries – particularly China – have been using against us to enrich their countries while weakening our manufacturing base and eroding our prosperity and national security.
Nations such as China depress the value of their currency, while pushing the dollar higher, in order to gain a price advantage in global markets. The Chinese government also subsidizes key manufacturing sectors focused on exports, like steel, aluminum and cast iron. With these and other advantages, Chinese producers can “dump” their products in the U.S. market at prices below their cost. These predatory practices violate world trade law and destroy American jobs.
At Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, we’ve experienced China’s destructive trade practices firsthand. Over the years, we have seen cheap imports of cast iron pipe and fittings flood our market. Neither political party seemed willing to level the playing field – until now.
So last July, we filed an anti-dumping and illegal subsidy case against Chinese foundries and importers of cast iron fittings. After extensive study and a public hearing at the International Trade Commission, it looks like we are finally going to get some relief.
On February 14, the Commerce Department announced a preliminary determination of antidumping and slapped duties ranging from 68 percent to 110 percent on Chinese fitting producers, on top of penalties for illegal subsidies ranging from 8 percent to 13 percent. This will level the playing field, allowing us to compete fairly and keep our 1,400 American associates employed.