- Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corporation has formally filed three charges against several Chinese steel manufacturers: conspiracy to fix prices, theft of trade secrets, and evasion of trade duties through false labeling.
- US Steel is calling on the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to block the allegedly unfairly traded Chinese steel products from the US market, with the accused being Hebei Iron & Steel Group, Anshan Iron and Steel Group, and Shandong Iron & Steel Group Company, according to Reuters.
- The ITC has 30 days to decide whether to launch an investigation. An administrative law judge will rule should the case proceed.
The turf war between American steelmakers and those in China is not letting up. But with most steel prices down for some time due to the collapse of the energy market, the US is digging in its heels to at least control what it can. If the ITC decides US Steel has a case in its charges of blatant foul play, China—the largest steel manufacturer in the world—will likely be knocked down a few notches. Then at least the mighty trade barrier could let up.
US Steel says it expects ITC’s review "to reveal that the Chinese government disseminated US Steel’s trade secrets to" Chinese steelmakers, "enabling them to manufacture [lightweight steels] that [compete] with US Steel’s products," as reported in The Wall Street Journal.
The American players have not stopped there. The US government has launched a formal investigation to determine if China is unfairly overproducing aluminum; this could mean a costly tariff for the Asian country. This could also be a bread basket on domestic grounds, where the market is already looking good; the aluminum bottle market is projected to hit 4 billion containers in 2019.