WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded President Donald Trump for signing new steel tariffs to crack down on foreign trade cheats who have flooded the U.S. market with cheap steel and cost Ohio jobs. Brown has been calling on President Trump to take action to protect steel jobs since before Trump took office.
Today’s action is the result of the Administration’s “232” investigation into the impact of steel imports on national security, and follows months of Brown’s repeated calls to Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to provide relief for the U.S. steel industry. Last month, Brown joined Trump and Ross at a meeting at the White House on steel, and urged action in the case.
“For far too long, Chinese cheating has shuttered steel plants across our state and put Ohioans out of work. Today’s action finally sends a clear message to our trading partners that we aren’t going to allow them to cheat Americans out of their jobs and infect global markets. By standing up for steel jobs today, we’re also protecting American jobs up the supply chain from becoming the next victims of Chinese cheating,” said Brown.
- Brown applauded the Administration’s decision to launch the investigation last year, and has since called on the Administration to make a determination in the case for several months, including in joint letters from Brown and his colleague, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
- Immediately after President Trump’s election, Brown reached out to his transition team to offer his help in retooling U.S. trade policy, including taking strong action on steel. Brown wrote to Trump in November 2016 offering specific steps to work together on trade and Trump responded with a handwritten note. Brown has called on Administrations of both parties to help reduce China’s steel overcapacity, which leaves U.S. steelworkers and companies at a competitive disadvantage.
- Brown has worked to boost the U.S. steel industry. Brown’s legislation, the Leveling the Playing Field Act, cosponsored by Portman and signed into law in June 2015, has restored strength to antidumping and countervailing duty statutes that allow businesses and workers in the United States to petition the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission (ITC) when foreign producers, including China, sell goods in the U.S. below market price or receive illegal subsidies. The law led to key wins for Ohio steel companies in major trade cases last year on cold-rolled, hot-rolled, and corrosion-resistant steel, including U.S. Steel, Nucor, ArcelorMittal, and AK Steel, which together employ more than 8,200 Ohio workers.