The United States Steel Corp. (U.S. Steel), Pittsburgh, has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against several large Chinese steel producers and their distributors. The complaint asks the ITC to initiate an investigation under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 and alleges what U.S. Steel calls “illegal unfair methods of competition.” It seeks the exclusion of what U.S. Steel considers unfairly traded Chinese steel products from the U.S. market.
The complaint accuses the Chinese steel producers and distributors of three actionable offenses: an illegal conspiracy to fix prices, the theft of trade secrets and the circumvention of trade duties by false labeling.
“We have said that we will use every tool available to fight for fair trade,” says U.S. Steel President and CEO Mario Longhi. “With today’s filing, we continue the work we have pursued through countervailing and antidumping cases and pushing for increased enforcement of existing laws.”
Actions covered under Section 337 include the infringement of intellectual property rights (such as patents and copyrights), unfair methods of competition and unfair acts in the importation and sale of products in the United States. The remedy sought by U.S. Steel through the ITC “is the exclusion of the unfairly traded products from the U.S. market,” according to a U.S. Steel news release.
The ITC has up to 30 days to evaluate the submitted U.S. Steel petition and to decide whether to initiate the case. If the case proceeds, an administrative law judge is assigned. During the investigation process, nationwide subpoenas and orders for the production of relevant documents could be issued by the judge.