LORAIN, OHIO – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited U. S. Steel’s Lorain Tubular Operations where he was joined by U. S. Steel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer 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. With a ruling expected next week, Brown wrote to the Department of Commerce (DOC) earlier this week urging the extension of duties on Chinese steel imports that have helped U. S. Steel.
“U. S. Steel’s expansion in Lorain is a model for the rest of the country and a testament to the strength of Ohio’s manufacturing base,” Brown said. “Our state is adding manufacturing jobs for the first time since the 1990s and our hard working men and women are a major reason why. I look forward to U. S. Steel continuing that progress.”
On the tour, Brown met many of U. S. Steel’s employees and discussed their work in the expansion. The $100 million investment by U. S. Steel is meant to better serve the company’s oil and natural gas customers, particularly those in shale resource development. Lorain Tubular Operations employs more than 700 Ohioans and its products contribute to U. S. Steel’s standing as North America’s largest integrated tubular products manufacturer.
“Senator Brown’s strong, repeated support for efforts to push back against unfair trade and strictly enforce trade laws is well documented, including his stirring testimony before the International Trade Commission in an important 2010 case involving the kinds of OCTG products made in this very facility,” said Surma. “The Senator’s efforts are making it possible for American industries and workers to compete on a level playing field and take full advantage of opportunities such as shale resource development.”
Brown has long championed U. S. Steel and fought to ensure it can compete fairly against the Chinese and in the international trade market. Earlier this week, Brown urged the DOC to protect companies operating in Ohio like U. S. Steel from illegal Chinese trade practices by maintaining antidumping duties (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) on Chinese steel pipe imports. His effort comes in advance of an expected DOC ruling next week on a petition regarding product coverage for duties ordered on Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) from China. OCTG are used for domestic oil exploration, particularly in the shale industry, and are produced in Ohio by companies including U. S. Steel in Lorain, V&M STAR in Youngstown, Wheatland Tube in Warren, and JMC Steel in Brookfield.
In December 2012, Brown led a group of senators in urging the Commerce Department to maintain AD and CVD on Chinese steel pipe imports. In 2009, Brown also testified before the ITC to advocate for the defense of U.S. steel and domestic steel pipe producers from unfair OCTG. The ITC’s ruling led to a border measure on imports to support domestic producers of steel pipe. By addressing illegal Chinese trade practices, this decision helped increase demand for domestic production.
Brown is a member of the Senate steel and manufacturing caucuses. The Currency Exchange and Oversight Reform Act, authored by Brown, represents the biggest bipartisan jobs bill—at no cost to U.S. taxpayers—passed by the Senate in 2011. Brown plans on reintroducing the bill later next month. The legislation would allow the U.S. government to stand up for American jobs when China cheats by manipulating its currency to give its exports an unfair advantage.