Congressional Steel Caucus Tells Trump to Act on Imports Investigation

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

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

Nearly 70 Members of Congress sent a letter to President Trump last week urging him to unveil the findings of the administration’s national security investigation into steel imports “as expeditiously as possible.”

The 68 members of the Congressional Steel Caucus — led by new Co-Chairmen Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) and Vice Chairman Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) —  note that the ongoing steel imports crisis has “caused layoffs and mill idling throughout the country, including in many of the communities we represent,” and highlight the importance of steel to “our military, critical infrastructure, and the livelihoods of innumerable American families.”

The Members also write that the delayed release of the report — Trump initially said he would release it by the end of June but has yet to do so — is causing additional problems. Imports are up 19.6 percent in 2017 compared to the time frame last year, which has led to hundreds of new layoffs. The Caucus tells Trump:

“Each day that passes is another day that the domestic steel industry faces an onslaught of imports and the deeply harmful effects of unfair trade practices, which is why we believe the investigation must be completed as soon as possible.”

The caucus letter comes on the heels of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s decision to put a hold on two of Trump’s Commerce Department nominees in response to the continued delay of the steel report, along with a similar "Section 232" investigation into aluminum imports. In an interview with The New York Times, Schumer noted that Trump has been “a total paper tiger on this issue.”

“I am deeply frustrated by [Commerce Secretary Wilbur] Ross’s perpetual foot dragging on this critical investigation, and I was shocked by his recent nonsensical excuse that the Department of Commerce is waiting until after the unrelated Republican tax plan passes to complete these investigations,” Schumer said in a statement. “The steel industry has seen a surge of imports since the announce of these investigations that has already cost jobs.”

Indeed, as Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul told the Times, surging imports cost 180 jobs at the Dura-Bond Industries plant in Steelton, Pa., and 150 jobs at ArcelorMittal’s rolling mill in Conshohocken, Pa.  Since the imports crisis began a few years ago, tens of thousands of steel and aluminum workers have faced layoffs and dozens of facilities have closed.

Schumer and eight Democratic Senators also wrote to Trump last week urging the president to finally release the reports, joining other bipartisan Members of Congress — and more than 65,000 AAM advocates — who have pressed for action in recent months.

Not only are the two Section 232 investigations critical for jobs, both are also a must for national security, since steel and aluminum are utilized by the military and needed for our critical infrastructure.

“American steel is used in aircraft carriers, armored vehicles, submarines, refineries, power plants, highways, bridges, dams, reservoirs, and hospitals. It is responsible for protecting our brave service members every single day and allows our military to respond to outside threats,” the Congressional Steel Caucus tells Trump in its Oct. 27 letter. “Without American steel, the Department of Defense would be forced to rely on foreign imports, which could become extremely dangerous during a national emergency or military conflict. Therefore, a robust domestic steel industry is absolutely critical to our national security.”

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work