Trade Cases

North American Steel Producers Release Industry Priorities for NAFTA

Written by Sandy Williams

Six leading steel groups in Canada, Mexico and the United States are today urging their respective governments to ensure that negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) include key tenets that would result in growing consumption of steel in North America and increasing intra-NAFTA trade and market share for NAFTA producers.

In a joint policy statement that they have sent to their respective governments, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA), CANACERO (the Mexican steel association), the Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI) and the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA) outlined five recommendations for upgrading NAFTA. They include:

  • Strengthening rules of origin and enhanced regional value content requirements;
  • Promoting trade enforcement cooperation and coordination; 
  • Establishing enforceable currency disciplines; 
  • Establishing disciplines on the conduct of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs); and, 
  • Improving customs procedures operation and coordination; and upgrading border infrastructure. 

“NAFTA has provided significant benefits to U.S., Canadian and Mexican steel industries. It has resulted in strengthened North American manufacturing supply chains, especially with key customer groups like the North American automotive industry. It has contributed to increases in exports, investments, and helped the steel industry remain globally competitive. While we view NAFTA as a successful agreement, after 23 years it can be modernized and strengthened,” the groups stated. “We welcome the opportunity to work with our respective governments to re-examine and modernize the agreement.”

(Note: The above is a press release from the six associations; the text of the joint statement can be accessed here.)

Latest in Trade Cases

Leibowitz: Could change at the ITC keep Weirton tin mill open?

The International Trade Commission (ITC) voted earlier this month against imposing antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of tin mill products from four countries. When Cliffs filed trade cases on tin mill products in early 2023, the company claimed that the failure to get massive duties on imports would result in the closure of its mill in Weirton, W.Va. We don’t know the reasoning behind this decision, only that all four sitting Commissioners voted not to impose duties. We do know that Cliffs plans to close Weirton.

Leibowitz on trade: Consumers win one at the ITC

Last week, steel consumers prevailed in a rare victory over US petitioners in trade cases on tin mill steel products. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4—0 that Cleveland-Cliffs, the sole remaining domestic producer of tin mill products (used to make containers such as “tin cans”) was neither injured nor threatened with injury by imports of competing products from Canada, China, and Germany. Imports from South Korea were found to be “negligible,” and the investigation on Korean imports was terminated.