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Three More Actions That Build on a Tough Trade Enforcement Record

U.S. announces two new actions to combat steel dumping and the elimination of barriers to U.S. poultry exports to South Africa.

The Obama Administration has stood up for American workers and American businesses through its strong trade enforcement record.  Two weeks ago, President Obama signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act—or “customs” legislation—to add to and strengthen our tools to hold trading partners accountable, and announced a win at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against unfair domestic content requirements in India’s solar industry on the same day.

Since then, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced three new actions to respond to unfair practices that hold back Made-in-America exports or injure U.S. industries competing with unfairly traded imports in the U.S. market.

Ensuring the ability of U.S. businesses to compete fairly at home. Commerce and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are working hard to ensure that American businesses and workers have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.  Commerce and CBP are currently enforcing 332 antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders that address dumped goods or unfairly subsidized imports from foreign companies.  Of these orders, 149 AD/CVD orders involve imports of foreign steel, representing nearly half of all cases.  

  • On March 1, Commerce announced  its preliminary determinations in AD investigations concerning imports of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom, and identified preliminary dumping margins up to 265 percent.  Cold-rolled steel is used in the production of automotive parts, appliances, containers, and other manufacturing operations, as well as in construction.
  • On March 15, Commerce announced its preliminary determinations in AD investigations concerning imports of certain hot-rolled steel flat products from Australia, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, identifying dumping margins of up to 49.05 percent.  Hot-rolled steel has a range of uses, including in auto body parts, transportation equipment, nonresidential construction, appliances, heavy machinery, and machine parts.  

Doing more to help our businesses and worker compete fairly overseas.  Last week, as part of our commitment to hold our trading partners accountable, the Administration announced that South Africa eliminated barriers to American poultry imports, allowing the first shipment of poultry from the United States to successfully enter into South African commerce.  As a result, the President issued a proclamation revoking the impending suspension of agricultural benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), allowing South Africa to maintain its eligibility for AGOA benefits.

The President and his Administration have set out to build a far more capable enforcement system from the onset of the Administration, and the result has been a record of trade enforcement victories that are helping to level the playing field for American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers. The Administration will continue to use the resources of all of the relevant agencies and use all the tools at its disposal to identify, monitor, enforce, and resolve the full range of international trade issues, so that American workers and businesses receive the benefits they are due under our trade and investment agreements.

Himamauli Das is Senior Director for International Trade and Investment at the White House National Security Council.