Kaptur statement on Trump Administration’s proclamation on steel

March 8, 2018
Press Release


Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), released the following statement after President Donald Trump’s proclamation today with specifics on steel tariffs.

“Today’s decision from the Trump Administration on steel and aluminum tariffs has moved through an unnecessarily prolonged and chaotic process with many delays. And this nontransparent approach has unsteadied the American economy.

“Nonetheless, I am encouraged the President and his team have followed through on their promise to seek relief for America’s steelmaking communities and workers. Northern Ohio has fallen victim for far too long to illegal dumping, predatory practices and closed markets of foreign steel producers.

“In a nation like China, its government directed steel industry is creating vast global overcapacity. America’s steel and aluminum manufacturing cannot fall victim to unfair foreign trade regimes — by China,  Russia, Vietnam or any other nation.

“I look forward to providing the Administration with commentary from Ohio based firms and workers as the President refines and targets his trade and tariff solutions to restore U.S. steel and aluminum competitiveness.

“The President’s willingness to be flexible and exempt countries like Canada and Mexico who play by the rules is a good step, but the devil is always in the details. So we will be vigilant in monitoring how the Administration handles this action and whether or not it has the desired impact of helping to level our trade accounts, shoring up our critical steel making capabilities and doing right by American workers.”

 Background on Kaptur’s efforts and the 232 Steel decision:

In February, the Administration released a report that contained Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s recommendations for tariffs and quotas targeting nations long known for steel dumping including Russia, China, South Korea and Vietnam. Read the report here, which mentions Lorain, Ohio and includes Kaptur’s testimony from last May to the Department of Commerce. 

The report was the result of President Trump initiating an investigation through the Department of Commerce to look into actions the federal government could take to keep illegal foreign steel from disrupting U.S. steel markets and harming American workers.

In August of last year, Kaptur wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to inquire about delays into a Commerce Department investigation of steel imports and illegal dumping of steel. This letter came after Kaptur testified at a Commerce Department hearing (video) on May 24 and urged the Administration to expedite the investigation and any related action. Secretary Ross told Kaptur at the hearing that the report would be completed by June of 2017, a self-imposed deadline that was missed by more than six months. Kaptur was the only Member of Congress to testify.                

Last year, Kaptur, along with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) invited Secretary Ross to visit Lorain