Steel-Union Proposals Said to Endanger Competitiveness
February 1, 2001
Recent proposals by U.S. steel unions and their Congressional allies are anti-consumer and could cause irreparable harm to the U.S. economy, says Jon Jenson, chairman of the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) and retired president of the Precision Metalforming Association. According to CITAC, The United Steelworkers Union has proposed several protectionist measures, including a five-year quota on steel imports, a $10-per-ton surcharge on steel shipments and a $10-billion payout to the domestic steel industry. In addition, a Department of Commerce investigation has begun on whether imports of iron ore and slab steel jeopardize U.S. national-security interests. CITAC believes this investigation may lead to import restrictions on iron ore and semifinished steel products.
"These protectionist measures will punish American consuming industries for the domestic steel industrys failure to modernize and become competitive in the global market," adds Jenson. "If enacted, the measures will cause significant injury to the steel-consuming sector that relies on steel imports, because U.S. producers do not make enough steel or the right kinds of steel to satisfy U.S. demand."