WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today issued the following statement on the expected announcement that the Commerce Department will launch an investigation into the impact of certain steel imports on national security.
“Today’s announcement is an important step toward addressing the impact of unfair steel imports on our national security. I’m pleased the Administration is willing to consider trade enforcement tools that haven’t been used in more than 15 years. But this investigation won’t mean much to Ohio steel companies and steelworkers unless it is followed by tough action that addresses China’s overcapacity and stops the flood of unfairly traded steel imports from coming into our market.”
Immediately after President Trump’s election, Brown reached out to his transition team to offer his help on retooling U.S. trade policy. Brown wrote to Trump in November offering specific steps to work together on trade and Trump responded with a handwritten note.
Brown has called on past Administrations and the Trump Administration 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 U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) 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.