23 Agustus 2015

[230815.EN.BIZ] US Steelmakers, Unions, Politicians Decry Chinese Steel Price Cuts

PRICE-CUTTING Chinese steelmakers have aroused the US steel industry to anger, reducing American political support for the pending Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Reuters reports Chinese steel producers were cutting export prices, riding the fall of the yuan after the series of central bank devaluations last week.

"This devaluation is just the latest attempt to support Chinese industry at the expense of producers in the rest of the world who have to earn their cost of capital to survive," said US steelmaker Nucor Corp lawyer Alan Price.

Mr Price also said China had built "massive excess capacity in steel, aluminum unrelated to market demand" and should shut some of its plants.

Said United Steelworkers president Leo Gerard: "Washington has been asleep at the switch in dealing with China" and called for action against "China's predatory practices" before more US jobs were lost.

Steel jobs are pivotal in the coming presidential election, including in Ohio, where state senators from both parties criticised the devaluation, linking it to trade talks.

Said Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown: "The US needs to ensure American businesses and workers have a backstop to fight against currency manipulation."

Said Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman: "We cannot afford to sit idly by as China refuses to play by the rules. Any negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership must combat currency manipulation."

Since July, American steelmakers including AK Steel, US Steel Corp and Nucor have filed trade petitions over imports of hot-rolled steel and cold-rolled steel. China was named in the cold-rolled steel complaint.

Said American Iron and Steel Institute head Thomas Gibson: "China has consistently intervened directly in foreign exchange markets to make their exports more competitive and impose new barriers to imports."

Source : HKSG.

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