Chesterton Tribune



Steel Caucus wants Trump to expedite import investigation

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The Congressional Steel Caucus is urging President Trump to support the Section 232 investigation assessing the impact of steel imports on national security.

That letter--signed by U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, among others--advises the Administration to complete the investigation and release its findings “as expeditiously as possible so that action can be taken to protect the American steel industry and defend America’s national security.”

Excerpts from the letter:

“American steel is used in aircraft carriers, armored vehicles, submarines, refineries, power plants, highways, bridges, dams, reservoirs, and hospitals. It is responsible for protecting our brave service members every single day and allows our military to respond to outside threats. Without American steel, the Department of Defense would be forced to rely on foreign imports, which could become extremely dangerous during a national emergency or military conflict. Therefore, a robust domestic steel industry is absolutely critical to our national security. . . .

“(T)he domestic industry has suffered greatly at the hands of global steel overcapacity and unfair trade. Yet, our conventional trade laws, while offering some relief, have failed to keep up with these illicit, and indeed destructive, practices. There are currently more than 700 million metric tons of global steel overcapacity, which amounts to more than eight times the output of all American steel producers.

“Furthermore, this year, steel imports have been up 21 percent over the same period in 2016, and in September alone, the U.S. imported over 3 million tons of steel. This continued crisis has caused layoffs and mill idling throughout the country, including in many of the communities we represent. Action must be taken to stop this unfair trade so that American steelworkers can continue to make American steel that supports our military, critical infrastructure, and the livelihoods of innumerable American families.

“Each day that passes is another day that the domestic steel industry faces an onslaught of imports and the deeply harmful effects of unfair trade practices, which is why we believe the investigation must be completed as soon as possible. We strongly urge your administration to release the report as expeditiously as possible so that action can be taken to protect the American steel industry and defend our national security.”

The American Iron and Steel Institute, for its part, is applauding the Congressional Steel Caucus letter to the president. AISI President Thomas Gibson released the following statement on Friday:

“The steel industry is tremendously grateful for the leadership of Reps. Crawford, Bost, Visclosky, and the entire Congressional Steel Caucus for keeping laser-focused on the issue of unfair foreign trade and the surge of foreign steel imports that threatens our national security. As we have often stated, if the American steel industry continues to be challenged by foreign unfair competition it could become impossible to procure the steel needed domestically. The military would then lose its principal source of strategic metals and we as a nation would become dangerously dependent upon unreliable foreign sources of supply.

“We remain concerned about continued surges in steel imports and the challenges still faced by our industry on a daily basis. Steel is critical to the protection of Americans at home and abroad. We need prompt and effective action on a comprehensive, broad-based import remedy as a result of the Section 232 investigation, and we look forward to our continued work with the Steel Caucus and the Administration to see this realized.”


Posted 10/30/2017




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