Testimony of James Zawacki
Good afternoon. I am Jim Zawacki, President of GR Spring and Stamping, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Michigan has 68 workers in steel consuming industries for each steel production worker. I am here to ask you not to recommend steel import restrictions that would destroy my business and thousands of others in this country.
GR Spring and Stamping requires about 20,000 tons of steel per year [confirm-not confidential]. We employ 200 workers. I buy mostly from service centers. Steel producers do not know our business.
My company buys steel, imported or domestic, that meets our needs-specifications, quality, consistency, competitive price and, most important, satisfactory to my customers. Our markets are 70% automotive, 15% appliance, 10% office furniture, 5% other.
As a supplier to the automotive and appliance industries, I can tell you that cost increases cannot be passed on to my customers. They will look for other suppliers that can give them the parts they require without raising prices. And they will find those suppliers. If tariffs or quotas increase my costs, I would have to absorb them. But I can't. They will turn my margins negative and put my company on the road to ruin.
My business is hardly unique. Most metal stampers tend to be relatively small, privately owned companies. Collectively, though, our industry employs over 300,000 workers.
Steel companies that sell direct to auto makers and appliance manufacturers will be unable to impose massive price increases on those big customers. The burden of higher prices will fall mostly on companies like mine. We cannot stand it. To survive, I'll have to relocate to a country where I can get steel at globally competitive prices. And U.S. steel producers will no longer benefit from the sale of domestic steel to companies like mine.
In short, the plan they propose cannot work for them, and it certainly will not work for American steel-using manufacturers.