Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Section 232 is a critical national security tool.

Congress must stand against a bill that threatens to weaken U.S. national security and endanger thousands of jobs fomented by the current Section 232 trade actions, Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul wrote to Members of Congress on Tuesday.

The proposed legislation, named the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act of 2019 and introduced by Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R- Wis.), would eliminate a crucial trade enforcement tool just as the domestic steel and aluminum industries find their footing following years of import dumping.

In the past several days alone, U.S. Steel announced the restart of operations at a previously idled steel mill in Lone Star, Texas, and construction at another mill in Fairfield, Ala., collectively adding 190 new jobs that will support not only workers and their families but also the communities surrounding the mills.  

Section 232 trade actions have been vital to this recent economic growth in Lone Star, Fairfield and other communities around the country. Indeed, U.S. steel attributed its Fairfield restart to President Donald Trump’s “strong trade action”, which has helped the company, along with other steel and aluminum manufacturers and the workers they employ, recover from years of punishing damage due to import dumping.

The last thing Congress should do is consider how to limit the trade tool that has enabled our nation to support these critical contributors to our economy and security.

In the letter, Paul writes:

"Rather than weakening available national security trade tools, Congress should reaffirm its support for a fair and level playing field and urge other countries in the strongest possible terms to confront their own, and China's, protectionism. The Toomey-Gallagher bill abandons Congress' commitment to trade enforcement, an essential part of the 'three-legged stool' of U.S. trade policy – alongside expansion and adjustment."

You can read Paul’s full letter here