Defending American Steel
The steel industry has been central to Northwest Indiana's way of life since the first mills arrived on the Lake Michigan shoreline over 100 years ago. Today, the American manufacturing industry faces threats on several fronts. At home, loopholes in Buy America protections have prevented the use of American steel on infrastructure projects. Abroad, illegally-subsidized imports from foreign nations that devalue their currencies continue to flood the market. During these difficult times, Pete believes that we must fight for every single American job.
As Vice Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, Pete has lobbied the Administration and testified before the International Trade Commission numerous times to fight for a level playing field for our workers. He has also worked to successfully enact Buy America provisions, and he opposed cap and trade legislation because he believed it would have led to job loss in the vulnerable steel and manufacturing sectors.
Pete is fighting every single day to ensure the passage of the following legislation:
• The Fighting for American Jobs Act would protect American jobs by denying federal assistance to companies that lay off American workers while retaining jobs overseas.
• The American Steel First Act would ensure that American-made iron and steel power the nation's economic recovery, protecting and creating American jobs.
Leading Steel Caucus Actions
On June 10, 2014, Pete joined Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Tim Murphy, and more than 150 other lawmakers who are calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to hold Korea accountable for illegally dumping oil and gas drill pipe onto the American market. Detailed in a letter sent today to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the lawmakers urge the Administration to reverse a February 2014 decision that permitted Korea to continue dumping unfairly-traded “oil country tubular goods” onto the US market. The US market was one of the few bright spots for the domestic steel industry due to the growth in shale gas exploration. OCTG accounts for approximately ten percent of domestic steel production and nearly 8,000 jobs. However, foreign OCTG has doubled since 2008. Steel pipe and tube from Korea, which does not even have a domestic market for OCTG, has increased by 1,000% in the past four years. Read the letter here.
Enforcing American Trade Laws
Pete frequently appears before the International Trade Commission, an administrative body charged with enforcing the United States' trade laws, to fight for the American steel industry and American workers. Most recently, on May 22, 2014, Pete defended American steel makers of welded stainless steel pressure pipe. The International Trade Commission is investigating the dumping of this product from Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Call for the Renewal of a Vibrant Manufacturing Sector
Pete knows that manufacturing drives innovation. As we invest in math and science training to develop a highly-skilled workforce, Pete frequently reminds his colleagues that we must maintain a strong manufacturing base for our young people who become engineers, scientists, and researchers to find job opportunities. Since 1990, the American steel industry has reduced its use of electricity by 30 percent, and we should ensure that this highly-efficient industry continues to drive our sustained economic growth.