WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today released the following statement after Cliffs Natural Resources announced the reopening of its Northshore Mining operation following a drop in the volume of unfairly traded, subsidized foreign steel. The reopening of this operation will put hundreds of idled workers back on the job.
“Today’s announcement that Cliffs Natural Resources will reopen its idled Northshore Mining operation is great news for Minnesota workers and their families,” said Klobuchar. “It also shows that our continued efforts to crack down on the dumping of foreign steel on our shores and to level the playing field for American workers are getting results. We already passed critical legislation to help but the next step is for Congress to pass our bills to strengthen America’s trade enforcement capabilities and ensure laid-off workers affected by steel dumping receive the support they deserve.”
Earlier this month, the Department of Commerce announced new preliminary tariffs on imports of cold-rolled steel from seven different countries, including China. The preliminary tariffs on Chinese steel are set at 266 percent. Last month, after efforts from Klobuchar, the Administration announced new actions to combat steel dumping. The new executive actions from the White House will add Customs and Border Patrol personnel to enforce our trade laws, step up inspections of steel imports at our ports of entry, and increase personnel at the Commerce Department to help ensure tariffs are enforced against those who dump steel in the U.S. The President also signed legislation (HR 644) that will provide additional tools to more aggressively enforce anti-dumping provisions under existing federal law.
Klobuchar is a leader in efforts to fight foreign steel dumping and provide support for our U.S. steelworkers and miners affected by recent layoffs. She met with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on the Range in December and urged him to bring the concerns of Iron Rangers and all those affected by steel dumping directly to the president. She then invited Dan Hill, a laid-off steelworker from Eveleth who attended the meeting, to be her guest at the president’s State of the Union Address. Klobuchar and Senator Al Franken have introduced legislation to crack down on illegal steel dumping by strengthening trade enforcement. Following consistent pressure from Klobuchar last year, the International Trade Commission voted to impose penalties on Mexican, Turkish, and Korean companies dumping steel in the U.S. In addition, she led a letter along with Franken and Representative Rick Nolan to successfully urge the U.S. Department of Labor to expedite approval of TAA petitions submitted by workers from the affected mining operations.