Why we need to strengthen American Manufacturing

USW New Media · Vice President Roxanne Brown on the Leslie Marshall show

Our International Vice President at Large Roxanne Brown appeared on the Leslie Marshall Show to talk about strengthening American manufacturing.  

Over the last several decades, policy choices led to the offshoring and outsourcing of American manufacturing jobs and weakened our supply chains, leaving us vulnerable especially in times of crisis. This has: 

  • Hollowed out our capacity as a nation to manufacture essential goods, weakening our industrial supply chains and compromising the safety and security of our nation.
  • Given business to countries with weaker emissions reduction goals, undermining goals for climate remediation. Meanwhile, the US has among the cleanest manufacturing standards and processes in the world and a ready workforce to rise to the task of clean production.
  • Forced workers and communities to struggle with the loss of good, manufacturing jobs. 

One example is the TIMET plant closure last year: 

  • TIMET’s plant in Henderson, Nevada, was the last remaining titanium sponge plant in the United States.
  • Titanium sponge is coral-like material essential for manufacturing warplanes, munitions, satellites, civilian jetliners, ships and even joints for artificial hips.
  • Around 420 workers lost jobs.
  • This left the nation completely dependent on foreign imports of titanium sponge and further decimated manufacturing supply chains crucial to the nation’s security. 

This loss of manufacturing capacity is so dire that last month President Biden signed an executive order instituting a 100-day review of critical supply chains. 

There are a number of policies that unions and others have championed for years that can help to shore up production, strengthen clean energy domestic supply chains, and bring good, union jobs back to the communities that need it most. Some of those policies include: 

  • Massive infrastructure investment that rebuilds our country with American-made materials
  • Tax credits to support investment in domestic manufacturing facilities
  • Investments in clean energy manufacturing, like carbon capture technologies
  • Legislation to help prevent offshoring Keeping Section 232 tariffs in place until we can find a more permanent solution to the dumping and overcapacity that threatens our national security
  • Buy America, which can drive production and job growth by setting a preference for domestically-sourced content in government-funded procurement and Buy Clean, promotes products that are made in cleaner, climate-friendly manners for federal spending

Throughout her career, Vice President Brown has worked with members and allies to advance policies on Capitol Hill and with regulatory agencies to help workers. She has extensive experience in defense procurement policy, environmental regulation, energy, cement, specialty metals and biomass carbon neutrality.
You can follow Roxanne on Twitter, where her handle is @BrownRox.  Follow the USW using the handle @steelworkers.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222