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Senators call on Obama administration to address steel industry issues

A majority of the Senate Finance Committee on Monday called on the Obama administration to address excess steel imports coming into the United States and the violation of trade rules.

Led by Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchDrug prices are declining amid inflation fears The national action imperative to achieve 30 by 30 Financial market transactions should not be taxed or restricted MORE (R-Utah) and ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare in 7-2 ruling MORE (D-Ore.), the panel sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael B.G. FromanOn The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision Democrats give Trump trade chief high marks US trade rep spent nearly M to furnish offices: report MORE and Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny Sue PritzkerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders steamrolls to South Carolina primary, Super Tuesday Biden's new campaign ad features Obama speech praising him Obama Commerce secretary backs Biden's 2020 bid MORE urging them to address global over-capacities in steel, aluminum and other commodities to ensure that U.S. trading partners are abiding by global rules, including the recently customs law passed earlier this year. 

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The senators wrote that overcapacities "are significantly impacting global production, consumption and trade flows of those products." 

"Much of this global over-capacity stems from foreign government subsidies and other market-distorting policies that are creating challenges for companies and workers across the United States and abroad," they said. 

The letter comes ahead of a Tuesday hearing with Froman and Pritzker and Ohio Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? G-7 summit exposes incoherence of US foreign policy Senate panel unanimously advances key Biden cyber nominees MORE (R) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' MORE (D) who are slated to testify over two days before at the International Trade Commission on the status of the global steel industry and the effect on the U.S. industry.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has reported that global crude steelmaking capacity more than doubled between 2000 and 2014, with growth led by China.  

Meanwhile, global demand for steel, including U.S. and Chinese demand, has decreased.  

As a result, significant increases in exports of Chinese steel have entered global markets, including the United States, hitting the U.S. industry.

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