Brown Tours Vallourec Steel Pipe Mill in Youngstown

Senator Blocked Effort Last Week that Sought to Gut the President’s Steel Tariffs

Brown Tours Vallourec Steel Pipe Mill in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today visited the Vallourec Star steel pipe mill in Youngstown. He toured the plant and spoke with workers about the importance of cracking down on China’s steel overcapacity, which has cost Ohio jobs.

Brown has called on the Administration to take action to crack down on China’s cheating on steel since President Trump was elected. Last week, he successfully blocked an amendment on the Senate floor that would have ended President Trump’s steel tariffs against China. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) attempted to call up the amendment by unanimous consent and Brown objected, effectively stopping the amendment from moving forward. In addition to ending the current tariffs on China and other countries, Corker’s amendment would have gutted the Administration’s authority to use what’s known as “Section 232” to enforce trade laws moving forward.

***Download production-quality video of Senator Brown blocking the amendment HERE.***  

“China’s cheating has shuttered steel plants across our state, put Ohioans out of work, and distorted global markets. These tariffs are an important step toward enforcing trade laws and making clear the U.S. will not allow China to cheat Americans out of their jobs,” Brown said. “We have more work to do to address the root of China’s cheating and reset our trade imbalance, and I will continue working with the Administration to push for long-term solutions.”

Brown supports the President’s tariffs as one important tool to hold China accountable. And he is continuing to offer the Administration long-term solutions to address the root causes of the trade imbalance and put a stop to China’s cheating. Brown wrote to the President in May urging him to stand firm against China in ongoing negotiations and offering solutions, including:

  • Shuttering excess steel mills and dismantling illegal subsidy programs,
  • Reforms at the WTO, and
  • Supporting his bipartisan legislation with Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley to block Chinese investments that harm U.S. jobs.  

Brown said he shares concerns about allies like Canada being included in the tariffs and he spoke with the President’s top trade adviser, United States Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer about finding a solution last week. Instead of giving China a free pass, Brown encouraged Senators to work with him and the Administration to strike a deal with allies to crack down on China’s cheating together.

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.