As the global economy faces an uncertain future, Virginia steel producers are pushing President Joe Biden to renew his commitment to trade policies designed to protect America’s steel industry.
According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, Virginia’s steel industry employs nearly 5,000 people, who collectively earn about $357 million annually.
Jerry Adams, general manager of the Roanoke Bar division of Steel Dynamics, said without federal government protections, a global oversupply of steel could threaten those jobs.
“The problem is that these countries rely on unfair trade practices, illegal subsidies and state intervention to benefit their mills at our expense right here in Virginia,” Adams said.
In 2018, the Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on foreign steel, a policy the Biden administration has remained largely committed to. While Biden has eased tariffs on allied countries, such as the European Union and Japan, the administration has kept protective policies in place for more hostile countries, such as China.
According to the Alliance for American Manufacturing, more than 75% of the world’s steel supply since 2000 has come from China, and the world has about 700 million metric tons more steel stock than it actually has. need.
Adams argued that U.S. protective policies had stabilized the domestic steel sector, which allowed companies to reinvest in operations in Virginia and across the country.
“We’re seeing steelmakers investing, hiring workers, and producing more tons of steel here in the United States,” Adams observed. “These trade protection measures are having a significant impact here in Virginia.”
Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced it would temporarily lift steel tariffs on Ukraine in a bid to stimulate the struggling country’s economy. The New York Times reports that this should not have a major impact on the national steel economy, since Ukraine is the 12th largest foreign supplier of steel to the United States.
get more stories like this via email