From Illinois Business Journal news services
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Reps. Mike Bost, R-Illinois, and Rick Nolan, D-Minn., authored a bipartisan letter this week urging Congressional leadership to prioritize the enforcement of United States trade remedy laws in upcoming appropriations legislation.
Bost, R-Murphysboro, is working to ensure that a law he introduced and helped pass in June is fully implemented, thereby improving America’s trade remedy laws and empowering U.S. companies and workers to respond rapidly to illegally-traded imports.
“When U.S. Steel announced the idling of Granite City Works, due in part to unfairly traded imports, I knew our trade remedies laws had to be fixed immediately,” said Bost. “I’m pleased that my legislation was signed into law to do just that; but the federal government must dedicate the resources necessary to investigate these anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases. This is a crossroads for America’s steel industry, as thousands of hardworking steel and iron workers are on layoff and multiple steel facilities have been idled.”
“I’m pleased to join my colleague, Congressman Mike Bost, in leading this important letter,” Nolan said in a statement. “Strong trade enforcement is crucial to our economy and national security. The illegal dumping of foreign-subsidized, subpar steel has jeopardized the very survival of our nation’s iron ore mining and steel industries and put thousands of people on Minnesota’s Iron Range and across the country out of work.”
“There are three trade cases currently pending at the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission on flat-rolled steel products which are crucial to the industry,” said Tom Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute. “These large cases could impact a significant amount of foreign steel imports and involve a dozen different countries. The size and reach of these cases make them extremely labor intensive for the government to analyze.” He said the group appreciates the congressmen’s efforts.
The application of these remedies is particularly important to the steel industry, including the U.S. Steel’s Granite City Works, whose economic fortunes have been buffeted by falling demand brought on by low oil prices and a surge of foreign imports, many of which are unfairly traded, Bost said in a release. According to a newly released industry poll, approximately 82 percent of Americans feel the loss of steel jobs and unfairly traded imports are very important issues facing the country.
More than 60 House members joined Bost’s effort, including Illinois representatives Rodney Davis and John Shimkus and Missouri representatives Ann Wagner, Jason Smith, and Blaine Leutkemeyer.