US steel company top brass met in Washington DC today to meet with a dozen members of the Congressional Steel Caucus to discuss the challenges facing the industry faces from surges of unfairly traded steel imports and global steel overcapacity.
Directors of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), John Ferriola, chairman, CEO and president of Nucor Corporation and Chairman of the AISI; David Burritt, president and CEO, United States Steel Corporation; Roger Newport; CEO of AK Steel Corporation and incoming chairman of the AISI; and, John Brett, president and CEO of ArcelorMittal USA, provided testimony on the impact of foreign imports on national security and the Section 232 tariffs, and a number indicated that as a result of the Section 232 remedy they would be looking at additional investment opportunities and creating jobs.
Nucor's Ferriola said that by imposing tariffs on imported steel, President Trump sent a strong message that dumping steel will no longer be tolerated. "The President’s action will allow us to realize a return on our investments, and will help get the industry on a more sustainable path long-term," he said, adding that Trump's 'decisive trade action' will ensure that the best days of the American steel industry are still to come.
US Steel's Burritt commented, “President Trump’s Section 232 action recognises that, for too long, the status quo approaches to steel imports were failing our country’s security. America cannot afford to outsource an industry as vital to security as steel." Burrit said that his company was restarting steelmaking operations at Granite City Works, and was calling back workers. "We are continuing to support our customers with the high-quality products they have come to expect from our company for more than a century,” he added.
AK Steel's Newport said, “In the case of a natural disaster or a cyber- or physical attack on the country’s electrical grid, the United States’ national security cannot be put in jeopardy as a result of the absence of a domestic supply chain supporting the key components of the electrical grid. A stable domestic manufacturing base for cores and transformers, built from domestically produced electrical steel, is vital to the national security interests of the United States. But that capability is also at risk as there are only a few remaining US producers of these important electrical infrastructure products.”
ArcelorMittal's Brett said, “As China dumps its steel in other markets, those producers suffer and look for alternatives—often in the United States. China’s largest export market is South Korea. One of South Korea’s largest export markets is the United States. That’s the way the steel flows. The industry has aggressively used the trade remedy tools the Congress has provided, but they aren’t fully doing the job. With our country-by-country remedies, we are playing ‘Whack-A-Mole’ with global imports, and the mole is winning.”
Representatives from the United Steelworkers (USW), the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) and the Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI) also testified.