A Year Later, Section 232 Trade Action Continues to Fortify Steel and Aluminum Industries

Cathalijne Adams

Cathalijne Adams Researcher, AAM

One year after President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would issue a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports in response to an investigation into the national security threat posed by steel and aluminum dumping, the positive impacts of the Section 232 trade action continue to bloom.

Remember that before this, steel and aluminum workers grappled with a market flooded with cheap steel and aluminum, largely from China, which produced nearly as much steel in a month as the U.S. did in a year.

For the steel and aluminum workers who attended Trump’s signing of the Section 232 tariff proclamation on March 8, 2018, the event signaled the opening of a new, hopeful chapter for them and their peers.  

But these men and women are not alone in their relief, workers nationwide have seen the benefits of the steel and aluminum industries’ renewed vigor. Just take a look at the most recent mill restarts in Lone Star, Texas, and Fairfield, Ala., or other manufacturers stimulated by increased operations in America’s steel and aluminum mills. Indeed, the U.S. manufacturing industry is finding renewed strength, and more Americans are back at work.

The revival Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul forecast on March 8 last year is continuing.

Said Paul on March 8, 2018:

"Steel and aluminum workers are already being hired back, and as the result of stronger industries we believe these will be the first of many new jobs created in America’s manufacturing communities. … We expect these tariffs to lay the groundwork for a stronger economy and industrial base."

However, just as steel and aluminum mills are stabilizing, some in Congress are trying to limit the powers of Section 232, a trade tool vital to our nation’s ability to defend industries critical to national security.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work