Congressman Pete Visclosky

Representing the 1st District of Indiana

Congressional Steel Caucus Leaders to President: Support Domestic Steel for American Naval Ships

Jun 22, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Vice Chairman Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN), along with other members of Congress, sent a bipartisan letter to the President asking for full support for the use of American-made steel in any expansion of national naval shipbuilding. This letter follows a series of recent proposals to increase the size of the United States' naval fleet.

Threats to American interests continue to proliferate around the world and our nation increasingly relies on the inherent capabilities of the U. S. Navy and its carrier strike groups. As discussed at the Congressional Steel Caucus annual hearing in March, and as the letter states, the aircraft carriers and other naval ships produced by our domestic shipbuilding industry are a crucial element and strategic asset for our national defense.

Additionally, the letter notes the billions of dollars injected into our nation's economy by domestic shipbuilding – including the steel industry – as well as the thousands of high-skilled jobs provided in more than 300 congressional districts across the country.

“A healthy domestic steel industry and a strong domestic steel workforce are vital to our nation’s naval shipbuilding industry, our national security and our economic well-being,” the letter concludes.

Complete list of cosigners and full text of the letter is available below.

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN)
Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL)
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Rep. Richard Nolan (D-MN)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS)
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Rep. Charles W. Dent (R-PA)
Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX)
Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA)
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS)
Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-MN)
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Rep. Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL)
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA)
Rep. David P. Joyce (R-OH)
Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV)
Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA)
Rep. GT Thompson (R-PA)
Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL)
Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA)
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI)
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)
Rep. Donald S. Beyer (D-VA)

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the Congressional Steel Caucus, we write to you in support of the American naval shipbuilding industry, a strong component of our domestic manufacturing sector that depends on access to large quantities of the highest quality American-made steel.  

As discussed at the most recent Congressional Steel Caucus hearing on March 29, 2017, aircraft carriers and other naval ships produced by our domestic shipbuilding industry are a vital element of our national defense. As threats to American interests continue to proliferate around the world, our nation increasingly relies on the inherent flexibility and capabilities of the United States Navy and its carrier strike groups comprised of an aircraft carrier, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines.That is why the Caucus strongly supports proposals to increase our fleet size.

Currently, the production of one aircraft carrier every five years injects more than three billion dollars into our nation’s economy and directly supports thousands of high-skilled jobs in 43 states and more than 300 congressional districts. Moreover, American steel producers provide $265 million worth of steel for the building of a single carrier. By reducing the time between carrier starts from five years to less than four years, the Navy could much more easily procure two carriers at a time, using a multi-ship purchase approach thereby improving construction efficiencies and enabling economic ordering of equipment and materials for each ship, including the domestic steel used in armor plating and shipboard equipment. 

Both the Virginia-Class Submarine (VCS) and DDG-51 destroyer programs currently benefit from multi-year procurement contracts allowing the Navy to buy two ships per year. These programs have seen substantial savings as a result of serial production and the inclusion of funding for economic order quantity purchases. Increasing procurement rates to three per year would again reduce their unit cost, and deliver those ships to the fleet more quickly. A heightened pace of procurement for these successful ship classes is absolutely essential to increasing the fleet’s size, capability, and lethality. From the standpoint of the Congressional Steel Caucus, such an effort will safeguard and bolster our domestic steel industry – a strategic national asset.

There is no doubt that as a nation we face difficult choices in order to strengthen the economic health of the defense industrial base. As a Caucus, we are united in the belief that a healthy domestic steel industry and a strong domestic steel workforce are vital to our nation’s naval shipbuilding industry, our national security, and our economic well-being.  

We look forward to your response to this letter and hope to work with you to advance the domestic steel and shipbuilding industries.

Thank you for your consideration.

PDF iconFINAL Steel Letter to POTUS.pdf

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