Casey and colleagues shine spotlight on rise of steel importation

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Senator Bob Casey and colleagues call for action to assist US steelworkers.

Casey, along with eight other Democratic senators sent a letter to the Trump Administration and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, urging them to complete an investigation called Sec. 232, which is to report the effects of the imports of national security items. 

Ross claimed the investigation would be done in June, yet, it has not yet been completed.  In July, steel imports rose 22% to last year at that time, which equated to 28% of the US market.  In September, steel imports made up 27% of US market share.

According to the letter written by the senators, imports to supply defense needs such as body armor, tanks, ships and ‘critical infrastructure’ put “American jobs at risk”.  They also said, “we urge you to complete these investigations as soon as possible, regardless of the legislative process on tax reform”.

The eight senators, in addition to Casey, who signed the letter included Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Gary Peters (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). 

They urged the president to think about his upcoming itinerary and factor-in conversations about the import of steel for national security items.  They said, “The U.S. must show that it is willing to employ meaningful, broad-based trade action to ensure that our steel and aluminum industries remain competitive in the face of sustained predatory trade practices…  The President’s upcoming visit to China and the G-20 forum in November will provide opportunities for securing meaningful concessions from China and other countries to reduce their excess steel and aluminum capacity. We urge you to conclude both Sec. 232 investigations and present the findings to the President before the President’s visit to China.”

In closing, they stated, “Thousands of steel and aluminum workers in our states support their families, their communities and our national security infrastructure. They deserve to compete on a level playing field”.

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