The federal government had made a preliminary decision to impose tariffs on flat rolled steel imported into the United States. Tuesday’s decision came in response to a complaint filed by AK Steel Corp., ArcelorMittal, Nucor, Steel Dynamics, Inc. and United States Steel Corp. If the tariffs help those companies to rebound, it's expected to also benefit Iron Range mines, where more than 2,000 workers have been laid off.

A preliminary 266 percent “dumping margin” was placed on flat-rolled steel made in China. It is being imposed because Chinese is selling at less than fair market value, the U.S. Commerce Department said. None of the Chinese companies contacted by U.S. officials responded to information requests.

The tariff on Chinese manufacturers is the highest among several that have been sought by U.S. steelmakers.

Several other countries also face tariffs:

• Japanese steelmakers will face a 71 percent penalty.

• Those in Brazil will face a 39 percent dumping margin.

• The tariff on producers in the United Kingdom was set at 28 percent.

• Most Russian steel exporters will face a 14.7 percent penalty.

• An India-based steelmaker will be penalized by 6.8 percent.

• Tariffs on Korean firms will range from 2.17 to 6.89 percent.

“Steel dumping has harmed our domestic industry and left many workers on the Iron Range without a job to support their families. To advocate for our workers, I have long called for the Administration to take tougher action to address the dumping of Chinese steel on our shores,” said U.S. Sen Amy Klobuchar. “These new tariffs will help curb steel dumping and level the playing field for Minnesota's iron ore miners and steelworkers. The next step is for Congress to pass our bills to strengthen America’s trade enforcement capabilities and ensure laid-off workers affected by steel dumping receive the support they deserve.”

“It’s well past time that our nation’s trade officials take decisive action and stand up for American steel workers on the Iron Range and across the country,” said U.S. Sen Al Franken. “We need to let China and other countries know that they can’t continue to steal our jobs and devastate our communities with their illegal steel exports. I’m confident that, with a level playing field, Iron Range workers can compete with anyone in the world. This action is an important step towards forcing foreign steel producers to begin to play by the rules, but we can’t take our foot off the gas pedal. I’m going to continue pushing hard to make sure that countries who are participating in unfair trade practices are held accountable.”

Last week, the Obama Administration announced new actions to combat steel dumping. They will add Customs and Border Patrol personnel to enforce trade laws, step up inspections of steel imports at ports of entry and increase personnel at the Commerce Department to help ensure tariffs are enforced against those who dump steel in the U.S. The President also signed legislation (HR 644) that will provide additional tools to more aggressively enforce anti-dumping provisions under existing federal law, Klobuchar and Franken said in a news release..

Parties affected by the preliminary decision will be allowed to provide legal arguments on the preliminary determination. They also may participate in a public hearing, if one is requested.

A final decision on the Chinese and Japanese tariffs will be made by May 17. The Commerce Department will finalize the other cases by July 13.