July 19, 2017 – TheStreet
Pipeline Companies Are Feuding With The Steel Industry Over Upcoming Commerce Department Report
By: Tucker Higgins
President Donald Trump will soon have to pick a side in a dispute between two of his favorite industries.
Pipeline companies and the U.S. steel industry are facing off ahead of a report due this weekend from the Department of Commerce that could lead to limits on pipelines' ability to import steel, a proposition pipeline companies say could spell doom for upcoming projects and the steel industry believes will bolster the country's economy…
…Rusty Braziel, president of RBN Energy, said an increasing number of mega-projects could increase the demand for larger, thicker steel -- but that the demand likely would not be felt until 2019, giving the industry some time to adjust to any new rules.
Most of the pipe and tube products imported into the United States come from South Korea, including almost a million metric tons last year, according to the International Trade Administration. Canada, Mexico, Turkey and Japan are the other major suppliers.
Regardless of the details of the report Sunday, any trade restriction could face significant legal hurdles, experts have said. The United States is part of the World Trade Organization's Government Procurement Agreement, which would prohibit directly telling U.S. companies to purchase American goods. Nonetheless, there are a number of caveats the administration could pursue to work around the law.