The U.S. Congressional Steel Caucus held its most optimistic annual hearing in years in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Tim Murphy, R-Pennsylvania, and Vice Chairman Pete Visclosky, D-Indiana, hosted “America Rebounding: Steel in 2017 and Beyond” to hear from steelmakers and union officials on the state of the U.S. steel industry.
"As we approach 2017 and beyond, I remain concerned about the staggering amount of excess steel capacity in the world and the predatory trade actions of foreign countries," Visclsoky said in his opening remarks. "This past year I testified before the International Trade Commission on eight separate occasions in support of American steelworkers and their families. These cases pertained to the illegal actions of 18 separate countries, including China."
State-owned enterprises that are protected against free-market pressures violate international trade laws, such as by using subsidies, Visclosky said. He called for Buy American requirements and urged Congress to support steelworkers through the appropriations process, trade cases, and potential infrastructure legislation this year.
"Additionally, as the ranking member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, I know that steel is an essential component of our national defense," he said. "It is necessary to build our ships, submarines, military vehicles, vests, and countless other types of equipment. 22 tons of steel are used in every U.S. Abrams tank. 50,000 tons of steel are used in every U.S. aircraft carrier, and half of that steel is produced in Northwest Indiana."
AK Steel Corp. Chief Executive Officer Roger Newport testified the domestic steel industry has benefited from the new administration's policies.