The Department of Commerce’s ruling Friday to impose duties on imports of steel pipe from South Korea and eight other countries is drawing praise from U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
The decision will help protect Ohio manufacturers from illegal foreign trade schemes by ensuring that they compete on a level playing field, according to Portman’s office.
“Ohio pipe and tube companies are among the best in the world, but we must stand up to foreign competitors who break trade rules at the expense of Ohio workers,” Portman said in a statement.
The Commerce Department said Friday that the countries’ imports violate trade laws due to illegal subsidization or by selling at too low a price, which harms competition. The steel pipe is mainly used for domestic oil and gas exploration, especially shale.
Steel pipe imports have doubled since 2008, and increased by 61 percent this year to date compared to 2013, according to Portman’s office.
In addition to South Korea, the countries involved are India, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.
“By leveling trade tariffs against countries like South Korea, we can protect local jobs and strengthen the economy, creating new jobs along the way,” Brown said in a statement.