Sen. Brown Meets With U.S. Steel CEO, Urges Administration To Protect Domestic Steel From Unfair Foreign Competition

As Co-Chair of Senate Steel Caucus, Brown Continues Fight to Support American Steelworkers and Businesses, Hold Foreign Nations Accountable for Unfair Trade Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) met with U. S. Steel’s President and CEO, Mario Longhi, to discuss efforts to strengthen trade enforcement and protect American steelworkers and businesses. Brown, who recently was named Co-Chair of the Senate Steel Caucus, urged the Administration to hold foreign competitors accountable for unfair trade practices that hurt American manufacturers.

“American steelworkers are the most talented in the world,” Brown said. “But in order for the industry to compete, our companies and workers must be given a level playing field. We cannot stand by as countries like South Korea unfairly dump steel in the U.S. market, putting American jobs in jeopardy.”    

Brown met with Longhi in his Capitol Hill office. One of the concerns that he discussed with him was last month’s preliminary ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), which imposed duties on steel pipe imports from eight countries, but failed to punish South Korea—considered by the steel industry to be the worst steel pipe dumping offender. While Brown acknowledged the commitment of the Administration to hold foreign countries accountable for steel dumping, he urged DOC to reassess the data and reevaluate the methodology it used that resulted in Korea’s exclusion.

Despite this particular DOC ruling, steady progress has been made to protect American steel. Brown’s meeting with Longhi followed another announcement by DOC last month that it would protect Ohio-based companies like U. S. Steel from illegal Chinese trade practices by maintaining antidumping duties (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) on Chinese steel pipe imports. Prior to its decision, Brown urged DOC to rule in favor of domestic steel manufacturers on a petition regarding product coverage for duties ordered on Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) from China.

Efforts like these have enabled U. S. Steel to create jobs and expand. In May 2013, Brown visited U. S. Steel’s Lorain Tubular Operations where he was joined by then U. S. Steel Chairman and CEO John P. Surma on a tour of the #6 Quench and Temper finishing line. The line represents a $100 million investment by U. S. Steel into Lorain Tubular Operations. Brown’s efforts were vital to ensuring U. S. Steel was provided necessary relief from Chinese steel pipe imports, and as a result, could maintain its facility in Lorain and expand its operations. During the visit, Surma praised Brown for his efforts on behalf of American manufacturers, saying that “Senator Brown is on our side. In fact we talk about him as our guy and the reason he’s our guy is because he’s one of us.”

Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) was awarded the United Steelworkers’ lifetime achievement award. Rockefeller, who was formerly Chair of the Senate Steel Caucus, officially passed his title to Brown, who was also in attendance. Brown also is the lead sponsor of the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, bipartisan legislation that would use U.S. trade law to counter the economic harm to American manufacturers caused when countries unfairly undervalue their currency to give their exports an unfair price advantage. The bill would provide consequences for countries that fail to adopt appropriate policies to eliminate currency misalignment—all without adding a dime to the federal budget.