Washington~ The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) submitted comments yesterday supporting the Trump Administration’s proposal that all new pipelines use 100% American iron and steel. On January 24, 2017, President Trump issued a directive for the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to develop a plan for requiring the use of domestic steel and iron for the construction of American pipelines. DOC is now in the process of collecting input relevant to the domestic industry and how best to structure the policy. DOC is required to deliver this plan to the President by July 23, 2017.
“American workers are underemployed. US factories are underutilized,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Infrastructure spending should both fix our infrastructure and put Americans back to work.”
CPA’s comment, which can be read in full here, states in part:
Our members support tightening Buy America initiatives, which are riddled with “public interest” exceptions including those that allow override by trade agreements. We support withdrawing from the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (WTO-GPA) and eliminating public procurement chapters from existing and future trade agreements. Domestic spending should not reward foreign subsidized steel producers with US taxpayer dollars.
CPA’s letter also warns against using taxpayer dollars to reward trade cheaters.
China produces over 50% of the world’s steel production, and despite pledges and statements by Chinese officials about reducing excess capacity, China continues to increase capacity. China subsidizes its steel industry with national, provincial and local public funds.
“It is a violation of taxpayers’ trust for government to spend their money rewarding state-influenced trade cheaters in other countries,” continued Stumo.
CPA further addressed the fact that public infrastructure dollars should fix our trade deficit rather than be shipped offshore.
If foreign resources are used for procurement for those projects many of those job opportunities will turn into job opportunities for foreign workers, while our own unemployed citizens languish in disappointment and idleness. As a result of four decades of trade deficits, foreign institutions and investors already hold some $6 trillion of U.S. debt. Increasing our debt obligations to foreign nations further to buy foreign-produced steel would defeat the purpose of infrastructure projects in revitalizing America and securing our future as a free, prosperous, and sovereign nation.
The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of 2.7 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.
Contact: Paola Masman, Media Director
202-688-5145 ext 2, [email protected]