CHICAGO -- In a decision that will cheer domestic steel producers but disappoint U.S. manufacturers that buy steel to make their products, the U.S. International Trade Commission voted yesterday to extend anti-dumping duties on hot-rolled steel imported from China and five other countries.
The fight over the import duties on hot-rolled steel is the latest flash point between the U.S. steel industry and domestic steel consumers.
The domestic steel industry argues that U.S. steelmakers need protection, in the form of anti-dumping and countervailing duties, from low-cost steel imports from China and other countries that don't abide by U.S. trade rules.
Steel-consuming industries, including U.S.-based automakers and a host of other manufacturers, contend that the tariffs hurt the nation's industrial sector, contribute to the migration of U.S. production jobs to Asia and raise prices for Americans.
The once deeply troubled U.S. steel sector has consolidated and rebounded, tariff opponents say, and as a result the smaller U.S. steel industry doesn't need the protections it once did.
Import duties, which protect domestic makers by raising the U.S. price of imported products, are usually established for a specified number of years, after which they routinely expire unless the ITC votes to continue them.
Yesterday, the independent government agency said it decided to allow duties to lapse on imports from Argentina, Kazakhstan, Romania and South Africa.
It left the duties in place on imports from leading import producer China and from India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine.