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US will impose high tariffs on countries for illegal steel dumping

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The United States is taking action against steel dumping, a practice that many say has hurt the global steel industry – and caused thousands of layoffs in Minnesota.

The Department of Commerce issued a preliminary ruling this week, finding seven nations – China, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United Kington – have been selling cold-rolled steel in the United States at less than its fair value, a fact sheet says.

And those countries will be hit with a major tariff. The duties, which will be imposed within the next week, the Wall Street Journal says, range from 4.5 percent for India to just under 266 percent for Chinese steelmakers, the fact sheet notes.

The tariffs will need to be confirmed in a final determination, which is set for this summer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This comes after several steel companies, including those with facilities in Minnesota, filed complaints over illegal steel dumping, KBJR 6 reports.

Steel dumping has cut the demand for steel made in the United States, which has resulted in less demand for Minnesota's iron ore – nearly 2,000 Iron Range workers have been laid off as the demand for steel plummets. But now, steelmakers in the U.S. are hoping the tariff will help them "ride out" the weak market, the Wall Street Journal notes.

U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken praised the Department of Commerce's ruling. Klobuchar says the "new tariffs will help curb steel dumping and level the playing field for Minnesota's iron ore miners and steelworkers."

But the senators, and U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, say this is only the first step. The lawmakers have urged Congress to pass bills to strengthen America's trade enforcement capabilities, as well as help laid-off workers.

"I’m pleased to see the Department of Commerce heed our call and take steps in the right direction. I will urge the Department of Commerce to use all tools at their disposal to ensure final antidumping determinations accurately reflect the alleged dumping margins and that tariffs are instituted at the highest rates possible," Nolan's statement said.

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