Photo caption: Cold Rolled Steel Coils in a plant in Mexico
The Congressional Steel Caucus has written a letter to the Biden administration asking for intervention in a surge of Mexican steel imports, arguing it has cost steelworker jobs and poses a threat to domestic steel production.
Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Rick Crawford and Vice Chairman Frank J. Mrvan asked for the administration to pursue tariffs to defend U.S. steel jobs.
“I thank Chairman Crawford for his partnership in this effort to address illegal imports that harm our steelworkers and the domestic steel industry,” Mrvan said. “The livelihoods of steelworkers and their families are dependent upon a thriving industry and the full and fair enforcement of U.S. trade laws. I look forward to working with all of my Steel Caucus colleagues and the Administration to promptly address this matter and defend American workers.”
It’s estimated that imports from Mexico have risen 73% over the 2015-2017 baseline. Semi-finished steel and long product imports have risen by 120% while steel conduit imports are up 577%.
The letter to the Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative includes concerns that existing duties are being circumvented, stating that “significant volumes of steel which were melted and poured in countries such as Brazil, South Korea, and even Russia have entered through Mexico to the United States duty-free.” It argues that foreign-made steel jeopardizes American steelmaker jobs and is less environmentally friendly, contending that “this is occurring as the American steel industry is making significant investments in new, state-of-the-art low-emission steel facilities.”
The missive asserts the import surge has resulted in the loss of more than 200 steel jobs and the closing of a steel conduit factory so far, warning that further damage could follow.
“The steel industry has fallen victim to trade partners who fail to follow U.S. trade laws and continue to trade excessive amounts of illegally imported steel. We must defend the American steel industry from these bad actors by working to enforce these laws which ensure a level playing field. I appreciate the partnership of my colleague Rep. Mrvan in working to address these threats to the American steelworker,” Crawford said.
The Congressional Steel Caucus is a bipartisan group of more than 100 members of Congress who work to protect the American steel industry, mills and steelworkers.