Visclosky Opening Statement at the Congressional Steel Caucus Hearing
Washington, DC – Below is the prepared opening statement of Congressman Pete Visclosky, Vice Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, from today’s Caucus hearing entitled “America Rebounding: Steel in 2017 and Beyond.”
I would like to thank Chairman Murphy for holding today’s hearing. As we enter the early months of the 115th Congress and the new administration, I appreciate that we are taking the time today to discuss the issues of importance to American steel companies and steel-producing communities across our country.
I also want to thank all of our witnesses and representatives of steel companies, steel associations, the United Steelworkers, and research institutes for your time and willingness to present your views on the state and direction of the American steel industry.
I believe that steelworkers in Northwest Indiana and across our country make the best steel in the world, and we must do all that we can to ensure that they can continue to do so.
As we approach 2017 and beyond, I remain concerned about the staggering amount of excess steel capacity in the world and the predatory trade actions of foreign countries. This past year I testified before the International Trade Commission on eight separate occasions in support of American steelworkers and their families. These cases pertained to the illegal actions of 18 separate countries, including China. These countries operate in economies that involve state-owned enterprises that utilize illegal subsides and preferential policies. I believe that these practices violate international trading standards, and as we move forward I will continue to testify before the ITC and ensure that our trade laws are fully enforced.
Additionally, as the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, I know that steel is an essential component of our national defense. It is necessary to build our ships, submarines, military vehicles, vests, and countless other types of equipment. 22 tons of steel are used in every U.S. Abrams tank. 50,000 tons of steel are used in every U.S. aircraft carrier, and half of that steel is produced in Northwest Indiana. I also adamantly believe that we should look for every opportunity to implement strong Buy America requirements that ensure the use of American made iron and steel. It is common sense to me that hard-earned American taxpayer dollars should be used to buy American products.
As we move forward this year with the appropriations process, trade cases, and potential infrastructure legislation, I will continue to do all that I can to support our hard-working steelworkers and steel companies across our country.
Again, I thank Chairman Murphy and all of the attendees and witnesses for your time and suggestions today on what Congress can do to continue to support American steel industry jobs this coming year and beyond.