The Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI), representing 38 producers of steel pipe, tube and fittings, provided testimony in March on the impact of China trade on the industry before members of the Congressional Steel Caucus. Appearing on behalf of the CPTI was Armand Lauzon, CEO of John Maneely Co., Wheatland Tube. Maneely Co. is the largest producer of standard pipe in the U.S. and in North America.

Imports of pipe and tube into the U.S. from China have exploded from 128,000 tons in 2002 to 2.2 million tons in 2006. It is estimated that imports may reach 3 million tons in 2007.

“There has never been a more appropriate time than now for Congress to take the first step to develop a sound and effective trade policy that will ensure that companies like Wheatland and others in the domestic steel industry can compete in this challenging environment,” said Lauzon. “This industry is world class and we have made the investments and also taken the steps to consolidate to ensure our future, but we need to be able to use the trade laws to challenge unfair trade and trade distorting practices,” he added.

CPTI members were hit hard by imports from China and were denied relief by the Bush Administration in December 2005. Since that time, imports of standard pipe from China have skyrocketed from 269,000 tons in 2004 to nearly 700,000 tons in 2006.

The CPTI recently adopted a position against the extension of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) unless and until the Administration enforces U.S. trade law, including Section 421. Founded in 1984, the CPTI is a nonprofit trade association representing U.S. producers of pipe, tube and fittings and serves as the voice of the industry in Washington.

Protest from pipe makers is part of a worldwide backlash against China’s steel exports, which more than doubled into U.S. markets from 2005 to 2006. The U.S. is one of 11 nations that have launched anti-dumping investigations into steel products from China.