Senators’ testimony urge ITC to protect Ohio steelworkers

Washington, D.C. – In testimony before the International Trade Commission (ITC) Tuesday, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged the agency to use the tools that Congress provided it in the Leveling the Playing Field Act to protect Ohio workers producing tapered roller bearings from unfair dumping or underselling from South Korea. Portman testified on behalf of the Timken Company, the leading producer of tapered roller bearings in the United States, which is headquartered in North Canton, Ohio.

The Commerce Department is expected to make its final determination regarding dumping margins in this case later this month. If the ITC finds Korean imports have hurt the Timken company, the tariff determinations made by the Department of Commerce will be applied. Brown’s Leveling the Playing Field Act, passed into law in 2015, makes it easier for companies like Timken to bring and win cases like this one at the ITC.

“Ohio companies and their workers can compete with anyone, but they need a level playing field,” Brown said. “I urge the ITC to hold trade cheaters accountable so companies like Timken and its workers can get the relief they need to continue competing in the global market.”

In his written testimony, Portman said, “I am confident that when you review the record in this case, you will find that domestic producers have suffered material injury by reason of unfair trade. Nobody can compete with American workers, American companies and American ingenuity on a level playing field. All we are asking for is that level playing field, and a chance for Ohio workers to compete.”

Portman, who has been awarded the “Congressional Steel Champion Award” for his work to protect the steel industry and Ohio steelworkers, has a long record of working to protect Ohio steelworkers from foreign cheating and delivering results to keep good jobs in Ohio.

The Timken Company is a global leader in steel bearings production and its products are used in machinery like cars, agricultural equipment, construction and mining equipment, propeller shafts, wind turbines, and more. The company employs roughly 15,000 workers worldwide, including more than 1,400 Ohioans who make the bearings at issue in this trade case.