At his event at American Spring Wire in Ohio today, Romney repeated his pledge to crack down on China. As you know, his campaign has routinely attacked the Obama administration over this very issue. Unfortunately for Romney, though, American Spring Wire actually petitioned the Obama administration for help dealing with China… then got exactly what they wanted.
In June 2009, American Spring Wire Petitioned The U.S. Department Of Commerce To Investigate Countervailing Duties And Antidumping On Steel Wire Imports From China.According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, obtained via Targeted News Service, “On June 17, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced its decision to initiate antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of certain prestressed concrete steel wire strand from the People’s Republic of China (China). Dumping occurs when a foreign company sells a product in the United States at less than normal value. Subsidies are financial assistance from foreign governments that benefit the production, manufacture, or exportation of goods. The petitioners for these investigations are American Spring Wire Corp. (OH), Insteel Wire Products Company (NC), and Sumiden Wire Products Corp. (TN). The merchandise covered by these investigations consists of certain prestressed concrete steel wire strand which is a collection of wire rod bars, typically covered with an epoxy material and is primarily used in concrete construction applications. The merchandise covered by these investigations is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7312.10.3010 and7312.
As A Result Of The Juner, 2009 Investigations Initiated, The International Trade Administration (A Subdivision Of The Department Of Commerce) Imposed Countervailing Duties On Chinese Prestressed Steel Wire Strand. According to the ITA, two anti-dumping investigation began on Jun 23, 2009 reltated to prestressed concrete steel wire strand. They resulted in duty orders enacted on July, 23 2010. [ITA, Viewed 2012]
In 2011, The U.S. Commerce Department Planned To Impose Countervailing Duties On Steel Wheels And Steel Wire From China. According to Market Watch, “The U.S. Commerce Department set preliminary duties Tuesday on imports of Chinese steel wire and steel wheels, alleging unfair subsidies by the Chinese government. Announcing its preliminary decision, Commerce said it plans to impose countervailing duties of between 26.24% and 46.59% on certain steel wheels, which are typically used in making commercial vehicles like trucks and buses. U.S. auto-parts suppliers Accuride Corp. ACW -3.59% and Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. HAYL 0.00% filed for relief earlier this year, after imports of such wheels from China grew to $80.4 million in 2010 from $60.9 million the previous year. Commerce also made a preliminary determination to impose countervailing duties of 21.59% to 253.07% on galvanized steel wire from China, which grew to $53.9 million last year from $52.7 million in 2009. The wire is used to make corrosion-resistant wire products, such as chain-link fence. Petitioners for that case involve a number of U.S. wire producers, including Davis Wire Corp., Johnstown Wire Technologies Inc., Mid-South Wire Company Inc., National Standard LLC, and Oklahoma Steel & Wire Co. Inc.” [Market Watch, 8/30/11]
In 2012, The U.S. Imposed “Hefty” Duties On Galvanized Steel Wire Imports From China And Mexico. According to Reuters, “The United States said on Tuesday it was imposing hefty duties on imports of galvanized steel wire from Mexico and China to offset unfair pricing practices and government subsidies. The U.S. Commerce Department announced antidumping duties ranging up to nearly 38 percent on steel wire from Mexico and up to 235 percent on steel wire from China. It also set countervailing duties ranging from 19 percent to slightly more than 223 percent on the Chinese steel wire. The U.S. International Trade Commission will have to vote its approval for the duties to go into force. That decision is expected in early May. U.S. imports of steel wire totaled nearly $58 million from China and $85 million from Mexico in 2011.” [Reuters, 3/20/12]
Romney Opposed These Types Of Actions
Romney Opposed Bush Chinese Steel Tariffs And Obama’s Chinese Tire Tariffs. According to the Club for Growth, “In his recent book, Romney also voiced his opposition to President Bush’s steel tariff decision and President Obama’s decision to impose tariffs on foreign tires.” [Club For Growth, 2012 Presidential White Paper #5, 6/7/11]
Romney Wrote That The Bush Administration’s Attempt To Save U.S. Steel “Did More Harm Than Good.” In his book “No Apology” Mitt Romney wrote “The Bush administration’s decision to protect the U.S. steel industry is a case in point—I agree with those who have concluded that it did more harm than good.” [“No Apology,” 2011, Pg. 133]
Romney Wrote That President Obama’s Action To Defend Tire Companies From Foreign Competition Was “Bad For The Nation And Our Workers.” In his book “No Apology” Mitt Romney wrote “President Obama’s action to defend American tire companies from foreign competition may make good politics by repaying unions for their support of his campaign, but it is decidedly bad for the nation and our workers.” [“No Apology,” 2011, Pg. 133]