Testimony of Mark J. Erickson
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission. I am Mark J. Erickson, President of Thomas Engineering Company, of Minneapolis, Minnesota and current Chairman of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA). In Minnesota, there are 37 workers in steel consuming industries for every worker in steel and iron ore production.
PMA is one of the largest associations of steel using manufacturers in the country. We have 1600 members who give utility to sheet metal, principally steel. Employing over 300,000 workers, metal formers use about one fourth of all the flat rolled steel produced in North America. We know our steel and we know our markets.
On behalf of the entire metal forming industry, I strongly urge you to recommend no remedy that restricts imports on flat-rolled steel products. While we are aware of the plight of some major steel companies and their workers, the downstream metalforming industry simply cannot afford to pay the bill for solving them.
My company is an example of why our industry cannot accept massive tariffs or other trade restrictions on steel. We employ 145, and make precision stamped products of steel and other metals. We must have the steel we need when we need it to meet our customers' requirements. If we don't someone else will-and we will be out of business.
High steel tariffs will hand an unbeatable competitive advantage to our foreign competitors. They will be able to meet U.S. customers' needs with world-class quality and globally competitive prices.
I cannot understand how the U.S. steel producers can possibly think their plan will work. Many steel users will migrate offshore and others will lose business to foreign competitors. If anything, domestic demand for steel will decline. Steel import restrictions steal jobs.