Category: From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Steelworkers Descend on Washington, Urging President Trump to Finally Act on Steel Imports

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

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

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Black Monday, the infamous day in 1977 when Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. abruptly shut its doors. Thousands of steelworkers were suddenly without a job.

That terrible day marked a turning point for Youngstown, Ohio, and many industrial cities across the nation. Steel facilities across the country closed not too long after, and hundreds of thousands of people lost good-paying, middle-class sustaining jobs. Local grocers, restaurants, department stores and others were forced to shutter, unable to survive without the business a customer base of steelworkers once provided. Entire communities were dismantled.

Four decades after Black Monday, steelworkers are again at risk of losing their jobs — and the survival of the American steel industry itself is at stake.

Dozens of steelworkers headed to Washington on Tuesday to urge the Trump administration to finally act to safeguard American steel (and aluminum) from the threat of unfairly traded imports. The steelworkers met with lawmakers and members of the press, too, explaining that they are counting on President Trump to keep his promise to workers — noting that by not acting quickly, the president is making the problem worse.

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Headed to D.C., Steelworkers Want Trump to Keep His Promise — & Protect America’s National Security

Jeffrey Bonoir Researcher, Alliance for American Manufacturing

When steelworker Calvin Croftcheck came to Washington in June, it looked like the Trump administration was prepping to do something about unfair steel and aluminum imports.

Croftcheck and several of his colleagues were in town for Commerce Department hearings on ongoing national security investigations into the imports, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he expected everything would be wrapped up by the end of the month.

It is now September, and the Trump administration still hasn’t unveiled the findings of the Section 232 investigations. And for steelworkers like Croftcheck, the frustration is mounting.

“We’re pretty much at a make or break point now,” Croftcheck said. “If we don’t get some relief pretty quickly, and if it’s not substantial relief, that’s not going to help us any.”

Croftcheck is headed back to Washington this week to join dozens of his fellow steelworkers to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and push for action on imports.

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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."

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Why Do Companies Offshore Jobs — and What Can Be Done to Convince Them to Reshore?

The Reshoring Initiative and Plante Moran recently launched a new survey to examine how best to motivate manufacturers to bring jobs and operations back to the United States.

The U.S. Manufacturing Reshoring Study aims to determine why many companies decide to offshore manufacturing jobs and look at ways the government can encourage companies to bring jobs home, or reshore. It’s critical information, considering offshoring has robbed American workers of at least 4 million jobs since 2000.

“We’re looking for actionable data,” said Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative. “This survey is intended to take a step in answering that question — what will it take to get these jobs back?”

Manufacturers and distributors can complete the survey online, which takes about 15 minutes to complete. The survey will close on at 8 p.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 20.

More companies chose to return manufacturing to the United States than others chose to go offshore in 2016, according to the Reshoring Initiative’s research. But offshoring still threatens American jobs, and it is clear action from Washington is needed to strengthen American manufacturing and encourage further U.S. job growth.

The survey may offer some answers on how best to do that.

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Manufacturing Leads the Way this Jobs Day

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

That's 155,000 factory jobs since November 2016.

Today’s Jobs Day! New employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on the first Friday of each month.

So how’d we do? Drumroll, please:

Manufacturing added 36,000 jobs last month. Dang, that’s not bad. In an otherwise lackluster report (a total of 156,000 created overall), the manufacturing sector had relatively robust growth. Since November 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics points out, it has created 155,000 new positions.

But it’s not all roses. While employment is cranking up, wages aren’t following in step:

 

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The New Tappan Zee Bridge Opens in New York

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

We got a new bridge, everybody.

After four years of construction, the $4 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River in New York has opened. This new bridge (rechristened the Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge) will ultimately consist of two separate spans for east- and westbound traffic. Right now, the westbound traffic travels over a newly completed span.

The eastbound traffic still temporarily uses the old Tappan Zee. That will be the case until later this fall, when two-way traffic will shift entirely to the new span and the old Tappan Zee is demolished. The traffic will split again in 2018 when the second new span is completed.

The governor is pleased:

And so are we. This bridge was made with American-made steel. A lot of it came from a fabricator in Pennsylvania, High Steel, and more still came from ArcelorMittal USA’s plate mills in Pennsylvania and Indiana.

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Trump Says He Doesn’t See NAFTA Deal Getting Done

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

At a political rally in Phoenix last night, President Trump said he thinks NAFTA is finished.

“I personally don't think you can make a deal without a termination,” he told the crowd. “But we’re going to see what happens, okay?”

What should be made of that statement? Is the deal as good as dead?

Probably not. Donald Trump says a lot of things off the cuff at his rallies, very fast and loose. And he didn’t vow to kill the deal, just that he’s considering it. That’s a world of difference, especially to Trump, who has railed against NAFTA since the beginning of his presidential campaign.

But it’s still an important statement. Off the cuff or not, the president’s remarks caused the peso to weaken. And the first round of negotiations have only just wrapped up.

Though there are concerns that the speed of the talks may trump substance, something may get done. If something does, the Alliance for American Manufacturing has its positions laid out in a letter sent to United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

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The Great American Eclipse is Coming. Here’s How to Keep it Made in America.

Erica Maddox

Erica Maddox Social Media Intern, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Save the date: Aug. 21, 2017! 

That’s the day that a total solar eclipse will be visible from coast to coast, and it’s being called the “Great American Eclipse.”

The once-in-a-lifetime event will see the sun go completely behind the moon, and the moon will cast a twilight here on earth. The moon and sun will appear to be the same size, even though the sun is much larger. 

The eclipse will be visible from the waterfront of Government Point, Ore., through Charleston, S.C. The eclipse will start at 10:16 a.m. in Oregon, and end in South Carolina at 2:41 p.m., and the total duration will be about an hour and a half. 

The Great American Eclipse will pass through 12 states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. If you live in one of those places, you won’t want to miss it! But even if you don't live in one of those places, you'll still be able to watch a partial eclipse — NASA has an interactive map that shows exactly what you can expect to see and when.

And as USA Today reports, you also need to take steps to protect yourself — special eclipse glasses must be worn to protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun, for example. We put together a list of American-made items you’ll need for the eclipse.

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New Balance is Out with New Versions of its Made in USA Sneakers

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

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

New Balance is out with new Made in America sneakers — and sneakerheads are taking notice.

Sneaker Bar Detroit reports that New Balance has released a Made in USA version of its iconic 990 model for August. It’s a retro version, “dressed in a mix of Black and Olive Green that’s constructed with a woven mesh upper paired with suede overlays.” The sneakers are priced at $210.

That’s not all, either. The folks at Kicks on Fire report that a new version of the popular 995 line also has been unveiled, this time in angora and mercury red and priced at $200, while Sneaker News reports that New Balance is also out with the 247, available “in luxe, sport, and retro-inspired rendition” and selling for just $79.99.

It’s exciting news for fans of the company’s Made in America offerings (which can be customized if you don’t like any of the options referenced above). And it’s exciting to see legitimate sneaker enthusiasts taking notice, too.

As we’ve previously noted on the blog, New Balance has maintained manufacturing operations in the United States for more than 75 years. It makes or assembles more than 4 million pairs of athletic shoes in the USA every year; when the domestic value of the shoe is at least 70 percent, it’s given a Made in the USA label.

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Union Matters

Expand Health Care Coverage; Don’t Shrink It

Once again, Senate Republican leaders are pushing their incredibly unpopular and destructive plan to take health care from millions of Americans to line the pockets of corporate CEOs. Working people will continue to oppose transferring wealth from workers to Wall Street under the guise of health care.

Republican leaders in the Senate should stop trying to find ways to make health care worse.

The latest plan is yet another attempt to deny health care to people who need it to give tax breaks to those who don’t.

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The Power of Labor

The Power of Labor