Washington, DC - The International Trade Commission (ITC) heard yesterday from Georgia Congressmen Nathan Deal (R-GA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) supporting downstream industries in their state. In addition, The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) provided company testimony in Thursday's hearing from James O'Donnell of Camcraft in Hanover Park, Illinois.
On behalf of more than 335,000 Georgians employed in steel-using industries, Congressman Deal testified, "My concern is the sheer complexity and scope of this case&and decisions that may actually harm a large number of businesses involved in producing, importing and consuming steel. Many of these businesses are small but competitive enterprises. They support jobs and serve other enterprises that are no less important, and often more important, to the health of the local communities than some of the firms here seeking import relief." In Representative Deal's district, steel-using companies employ 28,569 people, while not enough are employed in steel production for the numbers to be published.
Congressman Isakson concurred, saying, "I urge the Commission to build into its remedy recommendations, structures and procedures for evaluation and dealing with situations in which imports are a matter of survival for U.S. companies, and in which losing access to imports would be unfair, if not devastating." In the sixth district, there are 609 Georgians employed in steel-consuming companies for every one employed in steel production.
"Steel-using manufacturers in Georgia and downstream users around the country applaud Congressmen Deal and Isakson and appreciate the time they have taken to participate in this process," said Jon Jenson, CITAC's Chairman. "The fact is that steel-using companies and their employees outnumber producers not only in Georgia, but across the country." Overall, there are 12.8 million steel-consuming jobs in the U.S., 57 times the number of jobs in steel production.
CITAC also provided company testimony in Thursday's hearings from James O'Donnell of Camcraft. A manufacturer of precision tuned parts, Camcraft employs 200 people and sells primarily to large American automotive and hydraulic customers. "In the last three years, we've purchased about 1500 tons of cold finished bar, on average. Since bar typically constitutes 10 to 40 percent of our costs, an increase in domestic steel costs relative to global steel prices will reduce our global competitiveness," testified O'Donnell.
CITAC participated in opening hearings Tuesday, with Chairman Jon Jenson leading a panel of steel users. Others on Tuesday's panel of consuming industries opposing restrictions on steel imports included Precision Metalforming Association and CITAC member William E. Sopko, President and CEO of Stamco Industries in Euclid, Ohio. Sopko described for the Commissioners how his company, a family-owned and operated business, would be hurt if the restrictions proposed by the U.S. integrated producers were implemented. He said if the price of imported steel goes up, he and his 120 employees will all be out of business.
Rep. Isakson said of the negative consequences of restrictions like those described by Sopko, "I don't think the Section 201 was written with the intent of playing this kind of 'zero sum game' with U.S. companies and workers."
CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations committed to promoting a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries and their workers have access to global markets for imports that enhance the international competitiveness of U.S. firms.