Creighton pushes bill requiring US-made steel for state projects

State Sen. Brandon Creighton is pushing a bill that would require Texas to use only steel made in America in state projects.

With Texas and steel manufacturers across the country long struggling to compete with foreign companies offering steel at cheaper prices, the Conroe Republican says his Senate Bill 1289 will help preserve jobs by requiring that only steel made in the United States be used on any Texas state project or construction job.

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Background Briefing on Buy American, Hire American Executive Order

As a fourth and final element of this executive order, where we go to this box here, the order strongly reaffirms the melted and poured standard for U.S. steel production.  The standard remains under attack by foreign interests and lobbyists, but it is critical to maintaining the integrity of our Buy American laws.  

Semi-finished steel, such as steel slab, accounts for about 90 percent of the input costs of a finished steel product.  And if a lesser standard than melted and poured were used, slabs could be imported from countries like China and Russia and only 10 percent of the production of steel would likely occur in the United States, with all of the negative impacts on jobs this would entail.

Here, it is useful to note that every direct job in the U.S. steel industry creates seven more jobs in the U.S. economy.  And through this multiplier effect, the steel industry here in America supports more than a million jobs.  

As part of this multiplier effect, the use of the melted and poured standard ensures that the benefits of Buy American are felt throughout the supply chain, assisting suppliers of raw materials critical to steelmaking, such as iron ore, coal, and limestone miners.  In each of these ways, the melted and poured standard would let us fully capture the positive impact of infrastructure spending on the iron and steel manufacturing industry supply chains.  From the iron mines of Minnesota, Michigan and Alabama, and coal mines of Kentucky and West Virginia, to the integrated mills of Indiana and Pennsylvania, to the downstream finishing and fabrication shops throughout the nation.

As a final comment, critics of Buy American policies typically offer two lines of attack.  The first is that Buy American policies drive up prices in costs, and therefore harm consumers and taxpayers.  However, this critique fails to take into account either the positive income and tax-based effects generated by Buy American, or the external benefits associated with strengthening the manufacturing and defense industrial base through domestic procurement preference programs.

In particular, Buy American and Hire American policies lead to increased jobs and economic growth, higher wages, and a more robust tax base, and thereby offset any price or cost effects.  At the same time, it is critical to the long-term economic and national security of this country to maintain a robust manufacturing and defense industrial base.  And Buy American contributes to this effort across virtually every sector of our manufacturing economy, even as Hire American helps us maintain a highly skilled and highly trained domestic workforce.

The second line of attack of Buy American raises the specter of retaliation by our trading partners.  This is simply a red herring, given that virtually all of our trading partners embrace similar kinds of domestic preference procurement programs and such programs are fully compliant with international trade law.  This argument also rings hollow, given that the available evidence that I’ve shown you already indicates the U.S. is a big net loser in the global government procurement market.  
 

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By utilizing local producers to build new high school, Waxahachie ISD setting new standard with steel industry

WAXAHACHIE — From skyscrapers to farmhouses and military vehicles to commuter cars, iron and steel have long supported Americans and the economy. In an effort to raise awareness on the important role the steel industry plays in the local and state economy, Friends of Texas Iron and Steel, a grassroots advocacy group, dedicates its time to educating Texans and state legislatures on the role the industry plays.

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It is Time to Stand Up to China

Do you remember when China was accepted into the World Trade Organization in 2001? Presidents Clinton and Bush, as well as many other public policy leaders, predicted that it would improve the U.S.-China trade balance and would encourage China to abandon communism for free-market capitalism, both of which would benefit America.

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Judge dismisses U.S. Steel's call for ban on Chinese steel

An administrative law judge has dismissed U.S. Steel’s Section 337 case that called for a total ban on Chinese steel imports.

U.S. Steel wants all Chinese steel imports banned, claiming China’s steelmakers have fixed prices, ducked tariffs and stolen trade secrets. Judge Dee Lord with the International Trade Commission ruled the company cannot pursue an antitrust case through Section 337, the federal code that allows for investigations into unfair trade practices.

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Gerdau workers search for new jobs after mill's idling goes into effect

CALVERT CITY, Ky. -

After the idling of a Calvert City, Kentucky, steel mill went into effect at the close of business on Tuesday, 130 people are unemployed.

In August, we first told you the Gerdau steel mill would stop production.

Todd Devine has a lot more time to focus on his duties as assistant fire chief at the Palma-Briensburg Fire Department. It's still hard for him to process why.

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Steel, iron ore crisis not quite over after all

Tough U.S. trade sanctions on steel products from foreign countries have helped stem the tide of imports, but the U.S. domestic steel industry still appears slow to rebound.

The American Iron and Steel Institute reported this week that production through Oct. 1 this year sat at 67.17 million tons, down 1.8 percent from the 68.43 million tons at the same period in 2015, which was considered a dismal year for the U.S. steel industry and the Minnesota iron ore industry that supplies it.

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Steel Overcapacity Crisis

The current debate about China’s steel overcapacity may ignore the lessons of the postwar steel crisis in the US and Europe.

Steel has featured prominently on the European agenda for a while now. Last February, thousands of demonstrators protested against Chinese dumping of steel, which they argue threatens jobs and investment.

 

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Overcoming the Second Steel Crisis

Today, advanced economies blame China for steel overcapacity. In reality, four decades ago Washington and Brussels opted for bad policies, which China seeks to transcend.

In the G20 summit in Hangzhou, some world leaders had harsh words for China’s steel overcapacity. Before the summit, President Barack Obama was urged by US lawmakers, unions and trade associations to blame China’s trade practices for US mill closures and unemployment and to stress the need for “aggressive enforcement of US trade remedy laws.”

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U.S. steel production still mired in slowdown, industry group says

HIBBING, Minn. — Tough U.S. trade sanctions on steel products from foreign countries have helped stem the tide of imports, but the U.S. domestic steel industry still appears slow to rebound.

The American Iron and Steel Institute reported this week that production through Oct. 1 this year sat at 67.17 million tons, down 1.8 percent from the 68.43 million tons at the same period in 2015, which was considered a dismal year for the U.S. steel industry and the Minnesota iron ore industry that supplies it.

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