Klobuchar and Franken have repeatedly called on the Administration to take action to curb steel dumping from countries like China; in December, at their request, the White House sent Chief of Staff McDonough to the Iron Range to hear directly from affected workers
The Department of Commerce announced new tariffs this week on imports of cold-rolled steel from seven different countries, including China; the tariffs on Chinese steel are set at 266 percent
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken announced today new tariffs to combat steel dumping. Klobuchar and Franken have repeatedly called on the Administration to take action to curb steel dumping from countries like China. In December, at the lawmakers’ request, the White House sent Chief of Staff McDonough to the Iron Range to hear directly from affected workers. The Department of Commerce announced new tariffs this week on imports of cold-rolled steel from seven different countries, including China. The tariffs on Chinese steel are set at 266 percent.
“Steel dumping has harmed our domestic industry and left many workers on the Iron Range without a job to support their families. To advocate for our workers, I have long called for the Administration to take tougher action to address the dumping of Chinese steel on our shores,” said Klobuchar. “These new tariffs will help curb steel dumping and level the playing field for Minnesota's iron ore miners and steelworkers. 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.”
“It’s well past time that our nation’s trade officials take decisive action and stand up for American steel workers on the Iron Range and across the country,” said Franken. “We need to let China and other countries know that they can’t continue to steal our jobs and devastate our communities with their illegal steel exports. I’m confident that, with a level playing field, Iron Range workers can compete with anyone in the world. This action is an important step towards forcing foreign steel producers to begin to play by the rules, but we can’t take our foot off the gas pedal. I’m going to continue pushing hard to make sure that countries who are participating in unfair trade practices are held accountable.”
Last week, after efforts from Klobuchar and Franken, 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 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 recently 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.
Franken has been working hard to crack down on illegal trade practices by foreign countries that impact Minnesota’s workers and businesses. He has also been fighting to ensure that workers get the job training and education support they need when they’ve been laid off. In December, he stressed the urgency of the jobs crisis in the Northland directly to President Obama’s Chief of Staff at an Iron Range meeting he helped arrange with mining companies, affected steelworkers, and local officials. And then, after this year’s State of the Union Address, he again spoke directly with the White House Chief of Staff on this issue. Franken has pressed key trade agencies to act to limit the damage being done by unfairly priced foreign steel and has also introduced legislation with Klobuchar that would bolster trade enforcement laws.