WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined local elected officials, community leaders, and workers for the groundbreaking on a $650 million expansion of the V&M Star operation today. V&M's construction of a state-of-the-art pipe mill will generate 400 construction jobs in the next year and 350 permanent jobs. Full pipe mill operations are anticipated in late 2012.
"Today's ground-breaking on one of Ohio's largest industrial projects represents what happens when the federal government enforces trade laws, invests in infrastructure, and works with the private sector to create jobs and promote long-term economic growth," Brown said. "Leaders in the Mahoning Valley have worked for decades to develop the right infrastructure, promote a strong business climate, and train a skilled workforce. It's working, and the whole world is taking notice."
This project is possible, in part, by a nearly $20 million investment of American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for infrastructure improvements and transportation modifications on the industrial site. Another key factor was the enforcement of our trade laws, which created a fairer domestic market for the production of oil country tubular goods like the seamless steel pipe used for natural gas excavation.
In Oct. 2009, the cities of Girard and Youngstown reached an agreement that advanced the development of land surrounding the V&M Star facility. The agreement enabled the utilization of recovery act funds, and made this site more competitive with other communities.
Sen. Brown repeatedly highlights unfair trade policies that harm Ohio companies like V&M. On Dec. 30, 2009, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that steel tube imports from China have injured the U.S. industry after Brown testified before the ITC on the issue. This ruling led to a border measure on imports to support domestic producers of steel pipe like V&M Star and Wheatland Tube. By addressing illegal Chinese trade practices, this decision helped increase demand for domestic production.