Workers’ woes laid on China

Steelworkers in Pueblo and across the country say Chinese pipe “dumping” forced U.S. layoffs.

Pueblo steelworkers have joined steel companies nationwide asking for government help after layoffs they say were forced by unfair trade practices by Chinese steel competitors. “I have no health insurance now. I don’t understand how the United States can allow this,” said Eddie Barela, 39, one of about 50 workers laid off recently from Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel in Pueblo — the old Colorado Fuel & Iron plant that employed his father for 35 years. This week, federal investigators expect responses from 212 Chinese seamless-pipe factories and China’s government after launching a probe into how allegedly unfair trade practices might have hurt Barela and hundreds of other seamless-pipe steelworkers. A petition filed by Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel and six other companies urges the government to take economic action against China. It accuses China’s government of unfairly subsidizing Chinese production of seamless pipe used in oil and gas drilling and then “dumping” vast quantities on the U.S. market. The dumping forced layoffs of more than 2,000 seamless-pipe workers in Colorado and around the country, union leaders charge.

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