United Steelworkers Testifies Before Steel Caucus Hearing
Leo Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers testified before the Congressional Steel Caucus Hearing on the state of U.S. steel industry and section 232 tariffs.
Gerard noted that the American steel industry is on track of recovery. However, the industry is under constant threat from off-shore competitors. The demands by a certain section of the Congress seeking to limit the President’s authority to protect national security will also impact the fate of the country’s steel industry, he said.
The Section 232 steel tariffs have has a positive impact on the entire manufacturing industry. The domestic steel sector recaptured significant market share since introduction of the tariffs in April last year. The market share of imported finished steel products dropped significantly from 29.3% in April 2018 to 21% by November 2018. The U.S. steel companies a sale of over 5 million tons of steel to local companies in 2018.
The United Steelworkers urged that the 232 tariffs must not be discontinued. Instead, it must be coupled with renewed efforts to tackle global steel overcapacity, largely fueled by China. While noting that the tariffs should have been targeted at serial dumpers and subsidizers such as China, Russia, South Korea and Turkey, it should not have been applied to Canada, which has closer relationship with the U.S.
Finally, it noted that investing in infrastructure could lead to a stronger steel and manufacturing sector, which in turn would benefit all Americans.