(Pittsburgh) — United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard released the following statement in response to news reports that President Trump has decided to delay action in support of the domestic steel industry under Section 232 of U.S. trade law. Section 232 provides the President with significant authority to impose penalties if he determines that imports of a specific product such as steel undermine U.S. national security.
“Delay is devastating. Since the President announced an investigation in April, attacks on the U.S. steel sector have skyrocketed, with imports up 18%. Trading partners have targeted the U.S. market for fear that the United States will finally stand up for its producers and workers and protect our national security. Postponing relief is equivalent to unilateral disarmament.
“Trading relationships in the steel sector are complex. But enough time, attention and investigation have passed to know what needs to be done. Steel, the foundation of our national security, is crumbling under the onslaught of foreign imports. Much of that is illegally traded.
“Workers’ hopes were raised during the campaign and by the President’s announcement. They are sick and tired of Washington politicians saying they care, and dragging their feet.
“The time to act is now.”
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies.
CONTACT: Holly Hart, (202) 778-4384