Kelly, Kaptur, and Balderson Lead Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Urging President Trump to Preserve American Electrical Steel Industry

Apr 15, 2020 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) were joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to urge President Trump to address the unfair trade practices that are threatening AK Steel’s electrical steel business. AK Steel is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and the last remaining producer of electrical steel in North America.

In a letter to the president, the Representatives expressed concern that some bad actors are intentionally avoiding national security tariffs imposed on imports of grain-oriented electrical steel under Section 232. Cleveland-Cliffs’ Chairman and CEO Lourenco Goncalves made clear to Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, that unless this circumvention is immediately addressed, the company will have no choice but to close AK Steel plants in Butler, Pennsylvania and Zanesville, Ohio, which threatens more than 1,500 jobs and the security of America’s power grid.

Kelly, Kaptur, and Balderson were joined on the letter by Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Peter Stauber (R-Minn.), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Michael Turner (R-Ohio), Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Fred Keller (R-Pa.), Bob Gibbs, (R-Ohio), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Daniel Kildee (D-Mich.), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Conor Lamb (D-Pa.).

Key Excerpts

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Background

Imports of grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) are assessed Section 232 tariffs under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. A loophole is undermining the success of that policy. A dramatic increase in imported GOES into Canada and Mexico from China and elsewhere are circumventing those tariffs. Laminations, cores, and core assemblies that are slightly altered are entering the U.S. at high rates, threatening AK Steel's viability. This threatens U.S. national security, because electrical steel is an irreplaceable component of power and distribution transformers used to power the American electric grid. Closure of these plants would make America reliant on foreign nations for these parts.

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