Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Subjugation in Steel

One cost of freedom is steel. To remain independent, America must maintain its own vibrant steel industry.

Steel is essential to make munitions, armor plate, aircraft carriers, submarines and fighter jets, as well as the roads and bridges on which these armaments are transported, the electrical grid that powers the factories where they are produced, the municipal water systems that supply manufacturers, even the computers that aid industrial innovation.

If America imports that steel, it becomes a vassal to the producing countries. It would be victim to the whims of countries that certainly don’t have America’s interests in mind when they act. In the case of China, the attempt to subjugate is deliberate. Beijing intentionally overproduces, repeatedly promises to cut back while it actually increases capacity, then exports its excess, state-subsidized steel at below-market costs. This slashes the international price, which, in turn, bankrupts steelmakers in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Spain and elsewhere. Then, China dominates.

To his credit, President Donald Trump has said America can’t be great without the ability to make its own steel. He ordered the Commerce Department to investigate the extent to which steel imports threaten national security. Commerce officials are scheduled to brief Senate committees on the inquiry today. That’s because they’re being second guessed by a handful of federal officials, exporters and corporations whose only concern is profit, not patriotism. To protect national security, American steel and family-supporting jobs, the administration must stand strong against foreign unfair trade in steel that kills American jobs and creates American dependency. 

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Six Things You Didn’t Know Trump and Congress Are Working On

Celine McNicholas

Celine McNicholas Labor Counsel, Economic Policy Institute

For the first six months of Donald Trump’s presidency, what exactly have he and Congress been working on?
 
While the media and many advocacy groups have been focused on the Trump-Russia investigation and health care repeal, EPI’s Perkins Project is your watchdog unit monitoring, analyzing, and publicizing any attempts to dismantle the laws and regulations that protect working people and their families.

Here are six policies that you might have missed that Donald Trump and Congress are trying to enact while they think we’re not looking:
 
Wall Street vs. Retirees―Earlier this month, the “Fiduciary Rule”―passed by President Obama’s Department of Labor―went into effect. But Donald Trump’s Department of Labor is refusing to enforce it. The Fiduciary Rule requires Wall Street advisers to provide retirement investment advice that’s in your best interests, not the adviser’s. Stopping these conflicts of interest would save retirees $17 billion each year in charges and fees. Donald Trump is siding with Wall Street over current and future retirees.

Corporations vs. Working People―Last year, we worked hard to update the overtime pay rule, which would allow 12.5 million people to receive the overtime pay they deserve. But now, Donald Trump’s Department of Labor is preparing to open up a new comment period in an attempt to undermine and kill this new rule. Trump is siding with corporate lobbyists who are trying to rob working people of their right to overtime pay.

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We Finally Know What’s Going to be in the Senate Version of Trumpcare — and It’s Not Pretty

Judd Legum

Judd Legum Editor-in-Chief, Think Progress

For weeks, Senate Republicans have negotiated their version of Trumpcare in near total secrecy. There have been no public hearings — just private meetings among a select group of Republicans about a bill that could reshape one-sixth of the American economy. For many Americans, the contours of the bill could be a matter of life and death.

Text of the bill was released on Thursday, but key details began to leak Wednesday night (some from lobbyists who learned about the bill before the American people). Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is insisting on a vote before the July 4th holiday, which means everyone has a week to learn about this bill — including many of the senators who will be voting on it.

So let’s get started. Here are the most important things you need to know.

The bill would strip health care coverage from millions of low income Americans by rolling back the expansion of Medicaid — and then making even deeper cuts.

The core of the Senate bill, like the House version, is a massive cut to Medicaid, which millions of low income Americans rely on for health care coverage. The Senate bill will reportedly phase out the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, although the process won’t start until 2021. In the end, the impact is the same. The Congressional Budget Office found that rolling back Medicaid expansion would cost 14 million people their health insurance.

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Thousands Tell President Trump to Safeguard American-made Steel and Aluminum

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday that the Commerce Department “should” release the findings of its national security investigation into steel imports “later this week.”

But barring an unexpected Friday afternoon news dump, it looks like we’re going to have to wait a little longer to see what recommendations the department will have for President Trump in the Section 232 investigation.

In the meantime, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) supporters are making their voices heard. Nearly 4,000 people already have written to President Trump and their Members of Congress to urge them to “utilize all available tools — including the Section 232 remedy — to protect America’s economic and national security.”

And on Friday, AAM ran a full-page ad in the Washington Post thanking the president for his promise to stand with American steelworkers — and urging him to deliver a comprehensive Section 232 action.

As U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. John Adams (Ret.) outlined to AAM supporters earlier this week, dumped steel and aluminum imports from countries like Russia and China are putting America at risk.

We need both steel and aluminum for both our national defense needs and our critical infrastructure. But dumped imports from China and Russia have led to dozens of plant closures and tens of thousands of layoffs. Entire industries are threatened.

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Union Matters

Runaway Health Care

Runaway Health Care