(USW) International President Leo Gerard issued the following statement
today on Tuesday, following the release of a study of the U.S. steel sector,
entitled “Surging Steel Imports Put Up to Half a Million U.S. Jobs at Risk,”
conducted by the Economic Policy Institute and the Law Offices of Stewart &
“This report should
be a wake-up call to Congress and the Obama administration. The U.S. steel
sector supports up to half a million U.S. jobs which are at risk without
strong action against rising excess global capacity and a flood of
unfairly-priced and traded steel imports swamping our market. Our economic
and national security interests are at risk and policy leaders appear to be
sitting on their hands.
“The report clearly
documents how many foreign competitors, often supported by their
governments, are building up capacity well beyond domestic needs and
shipping their products around the globe and, all too often, targeting the
U.S. market. They know too well that the steel sector is an engine of
economic growth and job creation, and the technology it develops and the
products it produces are critical components for a strong national defense.
U.S. steel imports are rising while domestic production, corporate
profitability and industry employment is declining. Our nation’s economic
recovery is at further risk if this trend is not stopped.
estimates that up to half a million U.S. jobs are at risk. While these are
primarily Steelworker jobs, they are also the jobs of thousands of other
Americans, whose employment depends on the steel industry, including those
who supply materials, ship products, and fabricate steel into countless
other applications. Having the industry and so many jobs at risk is
unacceptable at any time, but as our manufacturing sector and economy
continues to try to dig out of the Great Recession, it is now a crisis.
“China is certainly
the main culprit in rising capacity and unfairly-traded imports, but their
approach is being copied by other countries such as India and South Korea.
For example, South Korea is dumping oil country tubular goods (OCTG) into
the U.S. market, taking advantage of rising demand for that product by
companies rushing to develop America’s oil and natural gas supplies. South
Korea, however, does not use any of the product domestically and only
produces it for export at prices artificially low enough to steal sales from
U.S. producers and their workers.
cases have been filed by industry and the USW to stop unfairly traded
imports from doing further damage. Unfortunately, there is an increasing
view in the industry that our laws are not being fairly and faithfully
applied. It is time that trade law enforcement receives a higher priority
and that the administrators of these laws put the interests of America at
the top of their list.
provides a detailed analysis of the problems we face. The time for dialogue
is over; the time for action is here.”
The USW represents
850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include
metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public