These days, the talk of the gas and oil pipe industry is how to prevent domestic jobs from being lost to foreign imports.
Last July, some of the largest steel producers in the country brought a petition to the U.S. Commerce Department claiming that nine foreign countries were ‘dumping’ their oil field pipe goods into the U.S. Dumping occurs when foreign governments subsidize industries within their own countries, which allows companies to export their goods at a very low price, often under the cost of production. This allows them to undercut competitors in countries where their goods arrive.
In February 2014, the Commerce Department made a preliminary ruling requiring duties on imports from eight of those nine countries. However, South Korea, the biggest importer by far, was left off the list.
This omission has dismayed many in the oil country tubular goods industry. Steel plants in Pennsylvania and Texas have been idled in part because of the ruling. And more jobs are potentially at risk.
Over the last few weeks, steel executives and politicians have stepped up their campaign against dumping. A group of U.S. senators, as well as the governor of Pennsylvania, have entreated the Secretary of Commerce to put an end to South Korean dumping.
No one can say for sure how everything will play out, but it will have a big impact on our industry. Stay tuned, and leave us a comment to let us know what you think of the situation.