Unfair business hurting steel

The Times, Munster. Ind.: An encouraging rise in Lake and Porter county construction projects is welcome news on several levels following years of soft demand in the doldrums of an economic downturn.

Beyond the promise this uptick holds for developers, contractors and laborers is a possible economic tonic for a slumping steel industry.

In addition to celebrating and encouraging improved construction fortunes, it’s also important to support federal lawmakers taking on unfair business practices that further threaten local steel.

Though a shadow of its former self, the steel industry still remains vital to Northwest Indiana’s economic outlook.

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, and other members of Congress have pushed for federal condemnation of the illegal “dumping” of steel in our markets from foreign countries.

That congressional push recently led to the U.S. International Trade Commission ruling that India, South Korea and seven other countries are harming domestic steelmakers by flooding U.S. markets with cheap steel for use in constructing gas and oil pipelines.

The ruling means the U.S. Department of Commerce will move forward with an investigation into whether the imports are below fair market value and if tariffs should be imposed.

Visclosky and other federal officials should remain steadfast in their push to ensure our steel markets don’t face additional challenges beyond those of a free domestic market.

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