Military Leaders Urge President Trump to Safeguard American Steel and Aluminum

From the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Ten retired U.S. military leaders wrote to President Trump this week to support action to protect American-made steel and aluminumfrom foreign threats.

The general and flag officers write that the president should use "all available tools" to maintain "a strong and ready domestic manufacturing sector," including via the Section 232 national security investigations into steel and aluminum imports. Steel and aluminum are critical to both equipping the military and building critical infrastructure like bridges and the electric grid, the leaders write.

"Make no mistake, having a strong domestic industrial base is critical to our national security," said Brigadier Gen. John Adams, U.S. Army (Ret.). "If we lose the ability to make our own steel or aluminum, we could find ourselves depending on countries like China or Russia to supply our military and build our infrastructure. That means we'd have to share key intelligence and sensitive military specifications with strategic competitors. We simply cannot let this happen."

The 10 military leaders aren't the only ones urging Trump to protect America's security and factory jobs. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have written the president to urge swift action, as have steel executives, union officials and other key constituencies.

“This letter from former senior military officials makes clear the critical importance of our steel and aluminum sectors to national security," said Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers. "These warfighters know that steel and aluminum are the backbone of a strong military and a strong nation and we must be able to protect our interests."

Trump ordered the 232 investigations to determine whether foreign imports from countries like China are intentionally running American steel and aluminum plants out of business and weakening our defense base. Under this 1962 trade law, the president can order an inquiry into whether specific imports are negatively impacting U.S. economic and national security. If they’re determined to be damaging, the president can order significant safeguarding measures – an action Trump promised to do earlier this year.

"American workers produce the best product in the world and they're ready to compete, but they can't when the game is rigged," said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. "Steel and aluminum production in places like China is heavily subsidized or even government-run. President Trump should take action to level the playing field — and safeguard our security and infrastructure in the process."

That level playing field is needed now according to the military leaders who also call for “prompt action.” Since the 232 steel investigation was announced, steel imports are up 18 percent.

"It’s time to act to combat the illegal, unfair and predatory trade practices that have decimated production and employment and put our national security and critical infrastructure in peril,” said Gerard.

AAM and Adams previously voiced concerns over the role of China’s massive steel overcapacity in the report ReMaking American Security, which found that the military is shockingly vulnerable to major disruptions in the supply chain including:

  • Shoddy offshore manufacturing practices resulting in problem-prone products.
  • Government unrest or natural disasters that halt production and exports.
  • Foreign producers that raise prices or halt sales due to political or military disputes. 

Read the full letter to President Trump.

To read more about increased national security weaknesses and policies to decrease threats, visit AmericanManufacturing.org.

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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