WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown urged Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to take measures to protect U.S. businesses and workers from unfair trade practices during a meeting with the cabinet officer Thursday.

According to information provided by the Ohio Democrat's press office, Brown specifically called on the Commerce Department to impose antidumping duties and countervailing duties on countries that unfairly dump their steel in the U.S. market; work toward eliminating an oversupply of steel in the international market; and address currency manipulators like China that threaten American jobs and competitiveness.

“Manufacturing is the backbone of the American economy, but when international trade law is not enforced, it gives foreign competitors an unfair advantage,” threatening U.S. manufacturers’ ability to compete and the jobs they support, Brown said in a statement. “The Commerce Department plays a critical role in ensuring that American workers and businesses compete on a level playing field.”

During his meeting with Pritzker, Brown called on Commerce to do everything in its power to address the oversupply of steel in the international market, an overcapacity that has led to an influx of imports into the U.S. market, putting the American industry at a competitive disadvantage and threatening Ohio jobs, he said. In advance of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development meeting this month, Brown urged Commerce to encourage countries to reduce their steel supply in order to balance the international market.

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