Trump’s Delay on Security Investigation is Making Imports Crisis Worse, AAM President Tells Congress

Cathalijne Adams Intern, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul urged the Trump administration to finally act to protect the U.S. steel and aluminum industry when he testified before a House Ways and Means subcommittee on U.S. trade relations in the Asia-Pacific region on Wednesday.

In his testimony, Paul cited China and other countries’ abuses of trade agreements and encouraged the administration to provide further trade protections while opening new markets as massively imbalanced trade deficits with countries in the region have plagued American exports.

Since Beijing entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the U.S.-China trade deficit has risen “from $83 billion in 2001 to $347 billion in 2016,” Paul said.

“In just 15 years, the impact of the surging U.S.-China trade deficit on U.S. companies and American workers has been severe and too often overlooked,” said Paul in his written testimony. “Our communities have shed more than 54,000 manufacturing facilities, and we’ve seen our global market share in manufactured exports shrink from 14 percent in 2000 to nine percent in 2013. Altogether, a staggering 3.4 million jobs, largely in manufacturing, have been lost because of this massive trade imbalance.” 

 

Other witnesses before the committee, including Matthew Goodman, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Relations, and Demetrios Marantis, senior vice president and head of global government relations for Visa, Inc., echoed concerns about unfair trade practices.

Paul recommended several actions to help the government level the playing field in the Asia-Pacific region, including: 

  • expediting the G20 Global Forum on steel excess capacity to obtain “verifiable and enforceable net reductions in global overcapacity;”
  • continuing to treat China as a non-market economy;
  • providing support when foreign interests engage in cyber theft and duty evasion;  
  • passing legislation “to treat foreign currency manipulation as a subsidy under trade remedy laws” with “strong enforceable rules in all trade agreements to deter and penalize currency manipulation.” 

Paul also urged the Trump administration to move forward with the Section 232 investigations into the national security threats posed by steel and aluminum imports.

Despite President Trump’s promise to reduce the trade deficit and advocate for American manufacturers during his campaign, his administration’s efforts have only worsened the situation, particularly when it comes to steel imports. Since the Commerce Department began the 232 investigation in May, steel imports in U.S. have surged by 21 percent.

This rise has had very real effects on the U.S. steel industry. “Several steel mills in Pennsylvania are reducing operations, including one that produces armor plate for the U.S. military and played an active and important role in supporting the production of armored vehicles to protect our servicemen and women from IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Paul said.

As these steel mills struggle to remain competitive in a market tipped against them, America is faced with an uncertain future in which we are dependent on foreign providers for our national security and infrastructure needs. 

“Domestic production of steel and aluminum are vital in the manufacture of America’s military and critical infrastructure,” Paul added. “If domestic manufacturing capabilities deteriorate further we may be forced to rely on countries like China and Russia to supply steel for our military and critical infrastructure needs.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) joined Paul in decrying the administration’s decision to delay the 232 investigation until after tax reform as utterly antithetical to Trump’s rhetoric on trade. 

“It is unclear when, if ever, the president intends to take action. Right now, it seems that, paradoxically, the president has exacerbated the problem of increasing steel imports that has been devastating the U.S. steel industry,” Pascrell said.

Not only is the delay in the 232 investigation undermining American industry, it also poses a serious danger to America’s stability.

“After nearly ten months in office the administration’s words have resulted in either inaction or confusion as to the path forward. We believe it’s time for clarity as well as action,” Paul said.

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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