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Last Updated:[16-04-2009 08:25:26 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

‘Made in India’ Steel Pipes Give Steam to ‘Buy American’ Slogan

tradenews The home state of the US President Barack Obama became a stage for angry protests after a retired steel worker discovered ‘Made in India’ etched on stacked pipes in train carriers to the Granite City, the steel town of Illinois. One of the protesters said the cheap Indian steel pipes had replaced the American ones, and consequently, the steel mill in the town had been shut down in last December which had resulted in 2000 job losses for the first time in 130 years.

Earlier in February this year before the approval of the $787bn stimulus bill, the Senate tabled a draft which stipulated the use of the US-made iron and steel in all public-works projects, and planned to extend the same to all manufactured goods. But this was later removed from the bill as the US feared protectionism would spark off trade retaliations from its trading partners.

But the recent 5000-strong protest march with banners of ‘Buy American’ and ‘Rebuild American Manufacturing’ are bringing back the demand for stopping imports which takes the American jobs. The rally appealed to put an end to the policies of the successive governments that led to the downfall of the US economy, and for forfeiting their jobs to the foreigners.

Thousands of Indian steel pipes have found their way to the steel town of Illinois for the building of 1,600-mile Keystone Pipeline from Alberta to Oklahoma to carry oil to the US refineries from the Canadian oil fields. In 2006, when TransCanada, the energy powerhouse from Canada decided to buy 560,000 tons of large-diameter pipe the US economic problems were confined to subprime crisis but today it has impinged into almost all areas of the economy.

The trade union workers alleged that the US subsidies have helped the Indian and Chinese manufacturers to dump steel products for lower prices. Last week the union had filed an antidumping lawsuit against tubular and pipe steel imported from China. Probably, this is the first time an Indian made product being targeted for anti-dumping in the US.

By Jose Roy

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