USW Notes Congressional Leaders' Commitment to Trade Enforcement

Jul 10, 2014, 12:08 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

PITTSBURGH, July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recognizing that strong enforcement of our country's existing trade laws ensures foreign companies and countries do not unfairly disadvantage American workers and industry, a coalition of 28 New Democrats led by Representative Ron Kind (D-WI-3) recently sent a letter in support of strong trade enforcement to Secretary of Commerce, Penny Prizker and United States Trade Ambassador Michael Froman

This letter follows strong bipartisan letters to the Department of Commerce from 153 members of the House led by Steel Caucus Chair Tim Murphy (R-PA-18) and Vice Chair Peter Visclosky (D-IN-1) and along with another from 57 senators, led by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

The New Democrats' letter touches on the important Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) trade case currently before the Department of Commerce, which will issue a final determination at the end of this week and be shortly followed by a final hearing at the International Trade Commission (ITC).  The case has significant implications for the domestic steel industry as close to 2 million tons of dumped OCTG steel have entered the market since 2010, primarily from South Korea and eight other countries.

Stressing the importance of a pro-growth and pro-worker trade strategy that exports more "Made in America" products, the New Democrats' letter highlights how trade should be matched by consistent enforcement of existing trade agreements and trade laws.

"Trade enforcement should not be a partisan issue," said United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard. "USW members and non-union workers alike know firsthand the pain inflicted by foreign predatory, protectionist and unfair trade practices. Too often other nations target the U.S. market to fuel their own economic policies.

"These practices have increasingly resulted in the downsizing of manufacturing and the loss of good, family-supportive jobs, as companies have offshored and outsourced their production.  If trade and trade agreements are to be effective  for American workers it will take the long-term commitment of our congressional supporters and this administration to fully enforce our laws and trade agreements and provide the tools and resources needed to combat the anti-competitive practices of our trading partners."

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:

CONTACT: Holly Hart (202) 778-4384 (o)

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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)