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 HatchBottom line Bottom line Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  MORE (R-Utah) and ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenGOP senator blocks Schumer resolution aimed at Biden probe as tensions run high Republican Senators raise concerns over Oracle-TikTok deal Hillicon Valley: TikTok, Oracle seek Trump's approval as clock winds down | Hackers arrested for allegedly defacing U.S. websites after death of Iranian general | 400K people register to vote on Snapchat 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 PortmanRomney undecided on authorizing subpoenas for GOP Obama-era probes Congress needs to prioritize government digital service delivery House passes B bill to boost Postal Service MORE (R) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Emboldened Democrats haggle over 2021 agenda Hillicon Valley: Russia 'amplifying' concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election | Facebook and Twitter take steps to limit Trump remarks on voting | Facebook to block political ads ahead of election 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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