United Steelworkers say National Security Action Will Promote Domestic Production and Job Creation

“From missiles and munitions, to motors and machinery, steel and aluminum are critical products used in direct military applications and in critical infrastructure."

March 12, 2018

Pittsburgh, PA - - (March 8, 2018) - - The United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement after the administration announced its final decision in the pending Section 232 investigations on steel and aluminum. Those investigations, launched in April 2017, were designed to determine whether imports of those products were jeopardizing national security interests and, if so, what action, if any to take.

“Today the President took decisive action to ensure that adequate supplies and industrial capacity of aluminum and steel were available to support national security. That decision and the announced action align with what every citizen knows: these products are vital to our national security,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

“The decision relies on exhaustive reports prepared by the Department of Commerce that recognized the need not only for sustainable industrial capacity but a skilled work force,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway. “Adequate production and trained workers go hand-in-hand. The announced relief has already sent a positive charge through the industry that the decline in steel and aluminum sectors can be reversed.”

“For decades, the USW has fought foreign unfair and predatory trade practices to protect our members’ jobs and ensure a strong defense industrial base,” said Gerard. “From missiles and munitions, to motors and machinery, steel and aluminum are critical products used in direct military applications and in critical infrastructure.

“For too long, common sense has fallen prey to free trade ideology, multinational corporations and special interest lobbyists who have profited at the expense of domestic production and employment. Trade cheating has, all too often, gone unanswered by our government. That’s had a crippling effect on good, family-supportive jobs and our ability to provide the needed products.

“The USW – both our U.S. and Canadian membership – has been united in advocating that Canadian production of steel and aluminum not be subject to any tariffs. We’ve raised that point at every level of the administration, including with the President. Our supply chains are integrated and, in steel, the United States runs a trade surplus with Canada. Also, our national security interests are inextricably intertwined with a unique defense and intelligence relationship.

“Canada is not one of the countries cheating and is not contributing to the decimation of U.S. production. However, both Canada and Mexico need to take the necessary steps to ensure they do not become points of circumvention for imports into the United States from other nations. This is something our members on both sides of the border have been affected by and it’s time for our allies to join us.”

“Our members have been on the front lines in the fight for fair trade,” said Conway. “They have sent tens of thousands of e-mails, walked the halls of Congress, placed calls and engaged in grass roots action to get help. Today, their call for action was answered. Now, we have to hope that the relief is quickly implemented and that it is sustained so that the investments in plants, equipment and people will occur.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.

Courtesy: United Steelworkers