PITTSBURGH, Jan. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard released the following statement this morning after the Department of Commerce sent its Section 232 Steel report to the President.
Last April, the Department of Commerce initiated an investigation under Section 232 of our nation's trade laws to determine whether imports of steel were damaging national security and whether action to "adjust imports" was needed. The President now has up to 90 days to take action.
"We're dismayed that the report took so long to produce and that we still have to wait for a decision. It is obvious that our nation's steel sector has been under attack by unfair foreign trade and that the sector is vital to our national security. The current surge in imports – more than 20 percent – is the result of countries taking advantage of our market before the President acts.
"The President has an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reset the trade agenda and protect and preserve the jobs of hardworking Americans now and for the future. We've got to champion the interests of American workers, and all our citizens, by protecting industries vital to our national security.
"Meanwhile, American workers and domestic production suffer as evidenced by the recent announced closing of plants in Conshohocken, Pa., and Ashland, Ky., and idling, reduced operations and job losses at plants across the country.
"Last April, when the investigation was initiated, working families were told that the investigation and a decision would be swift. Then, they were told that they would have to wait until health care was addressed. Then, they were told that they would have to wait until a tax cut was passed. Now they wonder how much longer they will have to wait to see if campaign promises will be kept.
"It's time now for the President to take action to fix our failed trade policies, protect our industrial base and national security, and revitalize our infrastructure and create good-paying jobs. The time for talk and debate has passed and the president should act boldly."
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: www.usw.org
Holly Hart: (202) 778-4384
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)