Last week, Klobuchar, Franken, Nolan and Smith met with top Administration officials at the White House to discuss immediate steps to stop mining and steel industry job losses stemming from declining iron ore prices and unfair dumping of foreign steel; Administration committed to keeping mining and steelworker jobs in the U.S. by cracking down on illegal practices that undercut our domestic industry

 In a letter to President Barack Obama today, the Minnesota leaders urged the Administration to demonstrate its commitment by publicly announcing concrete actions to confront foreign dumping and keep American steel jobs 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, and Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith today called on the Obama Administration to take immediate action to stop illegal dumping of foreign steel that is hurting Minnesota steel industry jobs. Last week, Klobuchar, Franken, Nolan, and Smith met with top Administration officials at the White House to discuss immediate steps to stop mining and steel industry job losses stemming from declining iron ore prices and unfair dumping of foreign steel. At the meeting, the Administration committed to keeping mining and steelworker jobs in the U.S. by cracking down on illegal dumping practices that undercut our domestic industry. In a letter to President Barack Obama today, the Minnesota leaders urged the Administration to demonstrate this commitment by publicly announcing concrete actions to confront foreign dumping and keep American steel jobs.

“These indefinite plant closures and the attendant economic uncertainty they cause are harmful and heart-breaking for our constituents who live on Minnesota’s Iron Range,” the lawmakers wrote. “We believe the Administration must demonstrate its commitment to keeping steel industry jobs in the U.S. by proposing stronger enforcement measures to confront foreign dumping and respond to the low prices driven by foreign overproduction. We stand ready to work with you to help ensure that American steel jobs are sustained for this and future generations.”

At last week’s meeting, the leaders and Administration officials discussed the immediate steps that can be taken to stop mining and steel industry job losses stemming from declining iron ore prices and unfair dumping of foreign steel.

Administration officials shared the Minnesota leaders’ concerns about illegal dumping and their commitment to keeping steel industry jobs in the U.S. Together, they committed to working on three important steps in support of steel industry jobs: improving the standards used to determine if enforcement action is necessary, strengthening enforcement so that determinations of unfair dumping can be made as quickly as possible, and aggressively pursuing full federal benefits for workers and their families.

In the letter today, Klobuchar, Franken, Dayton, Nolan, and Smith called on the Obama Administration to publicly announce action as soon as possible in relation to these initiatives.

The full text of the leaders’ letter is available below:

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge you to take immediate action to protect Minnesota jobs in the steel industry. Today U.S. Steel announced its intention to idle operations at its Minntac plant, an action that will affect approximately 680 jobs. This comes just weeks after similar decisions by U.S. Steel and Magnetation to idle other plants in northern Minnesota, affecting more than 400 jobs. These indefinite plant closures and the attendant economic uncertainty they cause are harmful and heart-breaking for our constituents who live on Minnesota’s Iron Range, where iron ore mining has long been a way of life for thousands of families.

These plant closures and job losses are being caused by both illegal dumping of steel products by other countries and the declining prices stemming from an excess of steel on the global market. Last week we met with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, and National Economic Council Director Jeffrey Zients to discuss how to respond to these issues. We were pleased to hear at that meeting that your Administration is committed to working with us to change the laws to improve the standards used to determine if anti-dumping trade enforcement actions are necessary, strengthen enforcement so that determinations of unfair dumping can be made as quickly as possible, and aggressively pursuing full federal benefits for workers and their families impacted by plant closures.

We ask that you publicly announce action as soon as possible in relation to these initiatives. We believe the Administration must demonstrate its commitment to keeping steel industry jobs in the U.S. by proposing stronger enforcement measures to confront foreign dumping and respond to the low prices driven by foreign overproduction. Steel remains a critical part of the economy of our state and our nation, and it is essential that the industry not be pushed into decline by foreign producers.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We stand ready to work with you to help ensure that American steel jobs are sustained for this and future generations.

Sincerely,

 

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