Cracking down on Mexican steel imports


In Ohio, we know too well how bad trade policy has hurt steel towns – including the businesses, workers, and communities they’ve built.

We’re committed to bringing steel production back where it belongs – to America.

We fought for and won a historic victory with our Buy America protections in the Infrastructure Law, requiring every federal project to use American steel.

We can’t undermine this progress now by letting foreign countries cheat and engage in unfair trade practices. Right now, Mexico is doing exactly that.

Mexico is flooding the U.S. with steel imports at an unsustainable level – and it’s only getting worse. This unsustainable increase is violating a 2019 agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, and it’s hurting Ohio steelworkers.

Republic Steel announced plans to close its Canton, Ohio and Lackawanna, New York plants last December. Over 500 steelworkers are losing their good-paying union jobs.

It’s why I’ve been calling on the president since last year to do more to force Mexico to abide by its own agreement. But the unfair imports keep coming.

Ohio steelworkers can’t wait any longer. If Mexico isn’t going to comply, we must hold them accountable.

It’s why I introduced the Stop Mexico’s Steel Surge Act with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) to slow Mexican steel imports, giving Ohio workers the opportunity to make the steel that our infrastructure and economy need – without unfair competition.

This bill will reinstate the 232 tariffs on Mexican steel and ensures they won’t be lifted until Mexico upholds its side of the agreement. It would also give the administration the authority to impose additional quotas on products coming into the U.S. at the highest rates. Quotas are generally a last resort, but this extreme situation requires all our tools to level the playing field.

One product, steel conduit, currently has import levels that are 760 percent above the typical rate. We can’t let that continue.

We know this story. We know what happens when we don’t stand up for Ohio workers or to countries that cheat. We can’t let that happen again.

Ohio workers can compete with anyone. They just need a fair playing field – that’s what our bill is all about.

Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.

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