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New trade rules should help U.S. Steel in Granite City

Geoff Turk, U.S. Steel
U.S. Steel

Steel produced in Granite City is part of an international trade case that is subject to new regulations signed by President Barack Obama.

"We've with all the other steel companies have come together and filed a dumping case on corrosion-resistant steel. This is steel that is coated with material. That's why your car lasts so long now and doesn’t rust," said Geoff Turk, vice president-service center solutions for U.S. Steel during a recent tour of the Granite City operation.

The case accuses suppliers in countries including China, India and Italy of illegally selling at low prices and under-cutting U.S. companies on a certain type of steel.

President Obama recently signed legislation allowing U.S. companies to more quickly defend themselves against international steel dumping and those new rules are being applied in this case.

The White House says Trade Promotion Authority and the Trade Preferences Extension Act, which includes Trade Adjustment Assistance, re-write the rules of global trade to better protect U.S. businesses.

Trade rule recently signed by President Obama
Credit WhiteHouse.gov
One of the trade rules recently signed by President Obama

The developments follow U.S. Steel's decision earlier this year to keep Granite City open and save roughly two-thousand jobs in the Metro East.

“There are a number of factors that we are constantly looking at to get our footprint and to make sure we're competitive and that we earn that right to grow and we can grow profitably into the future. And so we view this facility as a big part of that,” Turk told St. Louis Public Radio.

U.S. Steel in Granite City
Credit Wayne Pratt|St. Louis Public Radio
U.S. Steel in Granite City

Reps. Mike Bost (IL-12) and Rodney Davis (IL-13) co-authored the language to address the dumping of overseas-produced items in U.S. markets.

Both also recently toured the U.S. Steel’s Granite City operation.

Reps. Rodney Davis (IL-13) and Mike Bost (IL-12)
Credit Wayne Pratt|St. Louis Public Radio
Reps. Rodney Davis (IL-13) and Mike Bost (IL-12) at U.S. Steel in Granite City.

“Now we can use the profit line, we can use other mechanisms so that we can then move forward and aggressively go to the WTO (World Trade Organization) to tell them this has got to stop,” said Bost.

“It is a lowering the standard by which you show proof and therefore you can respond faster through the existing trade laws.”

Wayne Pratt is the Broadcast Operations Manager and former morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.