Brown Brings President's Top Trade Advisor to ArcelorMittal to Discuss Job Creation Through Strong Trade Law Enforcement

Senator, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk Tour ArcelorMittal Cleveland’s Hot Dip Galvanizing Line, Meet With Workers

CLEVELAND, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) brought the President’s top trade advisor, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, to local steelmaker ArcelorMittal Cleveland today to discuss how job creation can be promoted through  strong trade law enforcement that ensures a level playing field for American businesses. Brown and Kirk discussed how trade law enforcement defends Ohio manufacturers from unfair foreign competition and helps create and preserve jobs in Ohio and across the country.

Brown and Ambassador Kirk also toured the facility’s hot dip galvanizing line and met with ArcelorMittal workers. Mike Rippey, President & CEO of ArcelorMittal USA, Dave McCall, District 1 Director of the United Steelworkers, along with other company and union leaders, joined Brown and Kirk to talk about the importance of trade law enforcement for protecting American jobs and manufacturers.

“Ohio means manufacturing. Our state knows how to make things, and we know how to make them well,” Brown said. “And ‘Made in Ohio’ products can and should be sold not just here in the United States, but in markets across the world. The Obama Administration—including Ambassador Kirk—have already made tremendous strides toward achieving the President’s National Export Initiative, with a goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years. But any export initiative means trade enforcement must be front and center.”

“Exports and enforcement go hand in hand, just as manufacturing and trade do,” Brown continued. “Already we’re seeing the benefits of trade enforcement—with manufacturers like ArcelorMittal here in Cleveland, steel pipe producers in the Mahoning Valley, and tire makers in Findlay and Leavittsburg able to flourish and add jobs thanks to trade safeguards and border measures enacted under this Administration. In each case, vigorous trade law enforcement has allowed Ohio manufacturers to compete on a level playing field.”

“The Obama Administration’s strong commitment to enforcing U.S trade rights is giving Ohio steelworkers, small business owners, and others a better chance to compete and sell their high-quality products here and around the world, as USTR keeps global markets open to U.S. goods,” said Ambassador Kirk.  “I appreciated the opportunity to spend time with Senator Brown in Cleveland today as we discussed how to make sure U.S. trade policy works well for workers, families, and communities across the Buckeye State.”

“ArcelorMittal commends Senator Brown for his commitment to protecting manufacturing jobs here in Cleveland and throughout America,” said Mike Rippey, President & CEO, ArcelorMittal USA. “We are honored to host the Senator and Ambassador Kirk for this important discussion. Strong trade law enforcement is critical to our US steelmaking operations and contributes to the strength of our operations worldwide. We also applaud Ambassador Kirk's efforts to expand exports of manufactured goods -- we want the steel we make here in Cleveland and throughout the US to find its way around the world in our customers’ products.”

“The predatory trade practices of countries like China threaten the success of the American steel industry and the United Steelworkers,” said Dave McCall, District 1 Director of the United Steelworkers. “Trade enforcement means keeping good-paying manufacturing jobs right here in the United States. In my role as District 1 Director of the United Steelworkers, I am grateful to Senator Brown and Ambassador Kirk for their work to enforce our trade laws and save American jobs.”

Described as “Congress' leading proponent of American manufacturing,” Brown has been a strong advocate for enforcing international trade law. He has testified multiple times before the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) on behalf of steel, aluminum, rubber tire, and paper producers in Ohio during cases that considered whether underpriced imports from countries like China were negatively impacting domestic manufacturers. Positive rulings from the ITC have helped support manufacturing jobs in Ohio, playing an important role in the construction of a new $650 million seamless pipe mill in Youngstown that brought hundreds of jobs to the Mahoning Valley as well as the preservation of tire manufacturing jobs in Findlay and Leavittsburg.

At ArcelorMittal Cleveland’s hot dip galvanizing line, commissioned in 2006, ArcelorMittal produces Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) for major auto manufacturers seeking to produce vehicles that are safe, fuel-efficient and affordable. ArcelorMittal Cleveland produces two types of AHSS currently available to the automotive market for use in applications like upper and lower motor compartment rails, front wheel houses, engine cradles and sub-frames, and rear longitudinal rails. Additionally, ArcelorMittal Cleveland is in the process of developing a third hot-dip coated product.

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