PITTSBURGH, October 30, 2021 / PRNewswire / – International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) Tom conway today issued the following statement in response to the announcement that United States and the European Union had reached an interim agreement on Article 232 relief measures for steel and aluminum:
“Steel and aluminum are the backbone of our country’s defense and critical infrastructure, but for too long, global overcapacity and targeted predatory practices have undermined domestic production and employment.
“This is why the USW supported the Section 232 relief measures that the Commerce Department initiated years ago and why our union now supports the interim arrangement between United States and the European Union.
“This new arrangement, which will maintain but modify the EU’s Article 232 measures on steel and aluminum, will create a framework that will ensure that US domestic industries remain competitive and able to meet our material needs. security and infrastructure.
“It will also provide a much needed opportunity to tackle the non-market predatory practices of China and other countries that have distorted global markets, while stimulating a dialogue on climate concerns from countries with industries that are much more carbon intensive than those in United States and the EU.
“Under this arrangement, United States will allow an overall basic level of steel imports, which will be lower than those from the EU in 2017 and 2018. Above this level, imports will be subject to a 25% tariff. The agreement creates certainty for both domestic steel producers and users who are unable to find domestic supplies.
“Through this arrangement, the Biden administration also filled a yawning gap through which steel imports which are often carbon-intensive and from countries still subject to the original 232 measures reach United States.
“At present, semi-finished steel articles such as slabs and other China, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere are shipped to the EU, subject to limited processing and then qualified as of EU origin.
“Under the Interim Arrangement, steel imports from the EU are to be produced entirely in the European Union, commonly referred to as ‘melted and cast.’ This will help ensure that European and American steelworkers do not not lose jobs to countries outside this agreement.
“In aluminum, the Biden administration has entered into a side deal with the EU that ensures the US has the capacity to meet its critical needs and allows limited amounts of downstream products.
“As we look to the future of our industries and our jobs, it will be vital to harness global overcapacity, resulting in large part from the state-run business practices of the Communist Party of China. Engaging with our allies is a necessary step in this process, and this arrangement provides a way forward for working together to address this broader concern.
“The fight against climate change will also require coordination with our partners. US and European industries have demonstrated their commitment to reducing the carbon intensity of their products, and working together will ultimately deliver results for workers and our environment.
“We like the Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and United States Sales Representative Katherine Tai and the active consultation of their respective staffs with the USW and national industry during the negotiation process.
“Any trade deal requires constant attention to implementation, monitoring and enforcement, and we applaud the administration’s efforts to actively work towards a long-term solution. We know they will continue to be true partners in ensuring that this and all of our trade agreements put the security of our country and the jobs of our members first.
“This arrangement shows President Biden’s strong commitment to the Steelworkers and American workers.”
The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in the metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, automotive supply and power generation industries, as well as a number growing numbers of workers in healthcare, the public sector, higher education, technology and business services.
Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, [email protected]
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)