Rep. Kelly Commends Department of Commerce for Opening 232 Investigation on Imported Electrical Steel Components

May 4, 2020 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Washington, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce self-initiated an investigation into whether imported downstream grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) products are a threat to America's national security interests. U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), who has advocated this action on behalf of employees at AK Steel Butler Works mill in Butler, Pennslyvania, issued this statement after the announcement:

"As the last American producer of electrical steel products that are key components of the electrical grid, Cleveland-Cliffs owned AK Steel is a bedrock of our national security and the Butler economy. Thank you to President Trump, Secretary Ross, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for hearing our community's concerns and taking action to end the unfair trade practices that threaten AK Steel's ability to continue production of electrical steel. Thank you also to Cleveland-Cliffs and the men and women of UAW 3303 for fighting alongside me to save these jobs."

Background

Representative Kelly has been working with Cleveland-Cliffs subsidiary AK Steel and the Trump Administration since 2017 to address the threat of unfair trade practices in the electrical steel market. Those efforts resulted in GOES being assessed Section 232 tariffs under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, but a loophole developed that undermines that policy. A dramatic increase in minimally altered GOES in the form of laminations, cores, and core assemblies from China and elsewhere are circumventing those tariffs by passing through Canada and Mexico. Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves recently testified to the Congressional Steel Caucus that if action was not taken, the plants located in Butler, Pennsylvania and Zanesville, Ohio would close. The investigation initiated by Commerce is a step toward avoiding that outcome, which would make America reliant on foreign nations for key components of its electrical grid.

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