Sen. Brown: President’s Visit to V&M Steel Highlights Benefits of Trade Enforcement, Recovery Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement upon President Obama's selection of V&M Star Steel in Youngstown as a site for a speech on jobs and the economy:

"The expansion of V&M Star Steel shows how the Recovery Act and enforcement of trade laws have helped to create jobs," Brown said. "Leaders in the Mahoning Valley have been working to ensure that the region has the right infrastructure, strong business climate, and skilled workforce to advance economic development. Now, leaders in the Valley have a true partner in the Obama Administration. President Obama is the first President in recent memory to enforce trade laws that create good-paying jobs."

In Feb., Vallourec announced that it would expand the V&M Star Steel Facility in the Mahoning Valley. The $650 million economic development project, expected to create 350 jobs in the region, was made possible by $20 million in federal Recovery Act funds.

The announcement followed several critical steps taken by the federal government, local elected officials, and regional business leaders.

Recovery Act Funds and Federal, State, and Local Partnership

In Oct. 2009, the cities of Girard and Youngstown reached an agreement that advanced the development of land surrounding the V&M Star Steel facility. The agreement enabled the utilization of nearly $20 million in federal economic recovery funds for transportation infrastructure improvements. The federal funds, targeted to the land surrounding the building site, are enabling improvements to roads, sewers, water lines, and railroad lines. The funds are also helping to relocate the Norfolk Southern Rail Line which will provide space for the expansion of V&M Star facilities. The construction projects will generate 700 construction jobs for a period of 12 months while expansion of V&M is expected to create more than 400 good-paying permanent jobs. Economic development of the area could generate 100 additional full-time jobs in the surrounding corridor.

Trade Enforcement

Last week, the International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it would place duties on steel tube imports from China which have injured the U.S. industry. The ruling will place a duty of up to 99-percent on Chinese steel tube imports, will helps domestic producers and workers at V&M Star Steel. Brown testified before the ITC on Dec. 1 on this matter. In Feb., following the initial ITC ruling on this case, Vallourec announced that it would expand the V&M STAR Steel Facility in the Mahoning Valley. The $650 million economic development project, expected to create 350 jobs in the region, was made possible by $20 million in federal Recovery Act Funds.

Brown is considered to be one of Congress' leading voices on trade and was recently described as "Congress' leading proponent of American manufacturing." He is author of the Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2009, which would require the U.S. Trade Representative to take action against trade practices like subsidies and currency manipulation that unfairly put American workers and businesses at a competitive disadvantage. He is the author of the Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act, legislation that would promote more domestic manufacturing of clean energy technology by expanding the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program. He is also the author of The Investment for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act, which would establish a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help former auto suppliers and small and mid-sized manufacturers retool for the clean energy economy.

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