Congressman Pete Visclosky

Representing the 1st District of Indiana

Congressional Steel Caucus Supports the Investigation of the Impact of Steel Imports on National Security

Jun 1, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Vice Chairman Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN) have submitted a letter to the Department of Commerce in support of their Section 232 investigation of the impact of steel imports on national security. The letter has been submitted as a part of the record of official public comments on the investigation.

Specifically, the letter states that the American steel industry is absolutely critical to our national defense and that American steelworkers produce steel that is used in aircraft carriers, armored vehicles, and submarines.  The letter also states that in order to ensure that steel continues to be made in America – and that we will never be vulnerable to foreign pressure or coercion in the event of a true national security emergency affecting the homeland or our interests around the world – something must be done to address the onslaught of imports affecting the industry.  Further, the letter states that it is important that the federal government use every tool available to address this issue and carefully examine how unfairly traded steel is affecting the prosperity and security of this nation.

Below are the text of the letter and a PDF of the signed version.

Dear Secretary Ross:

We write as the leaders of the Congressional Steel Caucus to express our support for the Department’s thorough investigation into the impact of steel imports on national security.

The American steel industry is absolutely critical to our national defense.  Each day, American steelworkers produce steel that is used in aircraft carriers, armored vehicles, and submarines.  They provide a product that is directly responsible for keeping our brave servicemen and women safe and ready to respond to security threats.  The industry also supports a strong national economy, which in turn supports a strong national defense.  The steel industry directly employs 142,000 Americans and supports another 1 million jobs.  

In order to ensure that steel continues to be made in America – and that we will never be vulnerable to foreign pressure or coercion in the event of a true national security emergency affecting the homeland or our interests around the world – something must be done to address the onslaught of imports affecting the industry.  In April, the total steel import market share was 28 percent.  Moreover, in the first four months of this year, total steel imports have increased 23 percent above the same time period last year.  These imports are often traded well below market value or are subsidized by foreign governments, preventing American companies from competing on a level playing field.    

Congress has attempted to remedy this problem by approving two new laws, the Trade Preferences Extension Act and the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, which seek to improve the antidumping and countervailing duty investigation and enforcement process.  Further, the Department of Commerce currently maintains 191 antidumping and countervailing duty orders on steel and steel-related products from 33 countries.  This accounts for half of all current orders, and there are an additional 20 ongoing steel and steel-related product investigations. 

While we believe these actions have been helpful in addressing the ongoing steel import crisis, more must be done.  That is why we welcome the Department’s investigation into the impact of steel imports on national security.  It is important that the federal government use every tool available to address this issue and carefully examine how unfairly traded steel is affecting the prosperity and security of this nation.

Moving forward, the Congressional Steel Caucus will be closely monitoring the outcome of this investigation.  We trust that this investigation will be conducted in good faith, and respectfully ask for its timely completion. 

We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to provide comments and thank you for your dedicated work.

Sincerely,

 

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)

Chairman, Congressional Steel Caucus

 

Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN)

Vice Chairman, Congressional Steel Caucus

PDF iconCongressional Steel Caucus bipartisan comment 052617.pdf