Steel Consuming Industries Need A Seat At The Table

Labor Day has come and gone, leaving in its wake a well-financed and politically powerful campaign by the United Steel Workers and many steel companies to secure passage of H. R. 808, the Steel Revitalization Act.

Labor Day has come and gone, leaving in its wake a well-financed and politically powerful campaign by the United Steel Workers and many steel companies to secure passage of H.R. 808, the Steel Revitalization Act. To hear the steel workers tell it, the only thing that will save the steel industry and their jobs is a 5-year quota on all steel imports (whether fairly or unfairly traded); a 1.5-percent tax on every ton of steel shipped in the United States (foreign and domestic); a $10 billion steel loan guarantee fund; and a $500 million grant program to assist in steel industry consolidation.

PMPA and our individual member companies stand second to none in our desire to see a strong, productive domestic steel industry. Steel makers and steel users, working together, have a history of job and wealth generation that is the envy of the world. However, the quotas and additional taxes called for in H.R. 808 would purchase short-term security for steel makers at the expense of all steel users who depend on a steady supply of quality steel at reasonable prices. The PMPA cannot in good conscience support that effort.

Job shop precision machined products manufacturers believe that what is really needed is legislation that gives consumers a voice in the steel policy formulation process; allows imports of steel products unavailable from U.S. suppliers; doesn’t layer steel quotas on top of other types of import restrictions; and doesn’t complicate an already complex process with an early imposition of steel quotas.

The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC), of which PMPA is a member, has been working on legislation that would accomplish these goals. As I understand it, the CITAC bill would have two essential components..