Steel imports prompt wave of trade complaints, calls for tariffs

|By:, SA News Editor

U.S. steel imports (SLX) are approaching record levels, prompting calls for new import tariffs as well as the highest number of trade complaints in more than a decade, as a recent increase in China's steel exports heightens the tension.

The surge in imports reflects oversupply abroad, which has cut prices, and strong U.S. demand spurred by energy drillers and a resurgent auto industry.

A wave of U.S. trade rulings is expected this summer, but officials so far have refused to impose new tariffs on products used in drilling for oil and natural gas, which doesn't please Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who says operators of U.S. mills such as U.S. Steel (X), AK Steel (AKS) and ArcelorMittal (MT) should accept slightly higher prices for domestic steel.