CPA Welcomes Biden Administration Action to Protect U.S. Steel and Shipbuilding Industry from China’s Unfair Practices

CPA Welcomes Biden Administration Action to Protect U.S. Steel and Shipbuilding Industry from China’s Unfair Practices

Urges Biden Administration to Address Mexico’s Blatant Violations of 2019 Steel Agreement

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today welcomed the Biden administration’s announcement of new actions to protect America’s steel and shipbuilding industries from China’s predatory trade activity. Specifically, President Biden called on United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai to consider tripling the existing 301 tariff rate on Chinese steel and aluminum, and to investigate China’s unfair trade practices in shipbuilding, maritime and logistics sectors.

However, the Biden administration’s announcement does not include direct action to address Mexico’s blatant violation of a 2019 joint steel agreement. Instead, the announcement says that the President is “directing his senior team to work with Mexico to jointly prevent China’s and other countries’ evasion of tariffs on steel and aluminum that is imported from Mexico into the United States.” A recent economic analysis by CPA Economist Andrew Rechenberg details that “Mexico’s increased shipments now account for over 87% of U.S. imports of steel conduit and import levels are 472% over the historic baseline.”

“The announced actions by the Biden administration are a welcome step in protecting our nation’s steel and shipbuilding industries from unfair, predatory Chinese trade practices,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “However, the White House’s ongoing failure to take action to enforce the 2019 joint steel agreement with Mexico is unacceptable. High-paying American jobs and investment in our country are being harmed. Despite being aware for more than a year of this problem, the Biden administration has done nothing. What is the point of having trade deals if the Biden administration will not enforce them?”

Last month, CPA applauded U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for introducing the Stop Mexico’s Steel Surge Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reinstate a 25 percent Section 232 steel tariffs on Mexico to address surging imports.

CPA member companies producing steel products have facilities at risk across Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Illinois. These plants are often in poor and underserved communities that provide jobs paying wages at more than double the regional average. The continued surge of Mexican steel imports has already had a devastating impact on U.S. manufacturers and workers. The surge in imported Mexican steel conduit led directly to the closure of Zekelman Industries’ Long Beach mill, with the loss of 150 jobs. Wheatland Tube, a steel conduit manufacturer, announced it is closing its Long Beach, California factory and laying off 145 workers. The company cited surging Mexican steel conduit imports as the reason for the plant closure.






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