The Effects of the Steel Tariffs Flow Upstream

Luke Frazier

Luke Frazier Policy Intern, AAM

Lost in months of debate surrounding the effect of steel tariffs on downstream production are the positive developments happening upstream.

Here are a few examples:

In Toledo, Ohio, Cleveland Cliffs is investing $700 million into a hot-briquetted iron (HBI) plant. That’s certainly good for Northwest Ohio; during its construction 1,200 jobs will be created, and 130 jobs will exist at the plant permanently once its completed.

“This reinvestment will help modernize the steel industry of this country, we will become a major supplier of the most modern product that will move into mills across this region,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) to the Toledo CBS affiliate.

"You can’t spend money if you don’t make it.”WENDI THOMPSON

That news out of Ohio is being felt a few Great Lakes away. Northshore Mining, based in Silver Bay, Minnesota, is also getting new investment. This Iron Range production facility will be the mine supplying the taconite pellets needed to make HBI at the Toledo plant. It received a $50 million investment in 2018 and will receive another $25 million this year.

And, despite a recently bumpy road, Mesabi Metallics is looking to revive two stalled Iron Range projects – a mine facility and a pig iron plant – that could ultimately lead to a total of $3.7 billion invested in investment and a lot of permanent jobs.

These are domestic investments and jobs created thanks to the cover that tariffs have provided. And economic activity reverberating in the local economies of northern Minnesota is another result. As mining activity picks up again, businesses have experienced increasing profits and towns have attracted new economic investment.

“Things are way better than I anticipated. And I think it’s that the miners are back to work, said Hibbing business owner Wendi Thompson to the Star Tribune. "You can’t spend money if you don’t make it.”

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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