1. LATEST POLICY
International Trade Commission assesses duties on unfair imports of oil country tubular goods
The International Trade Commission (ITC) voted to assess duties on unfairly traded imports of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) that materially injure the domestic steel industry. The ITC approval will result in additional duties being imposed on OCTG producers, preventing them from undermining the U.S. steel industry. In July, the Department of Commerce overturned an initial ruling and found that Korean producers of OCTG, like those in other countries, have been selling the product at less than fair value in the United States. This vote by the ITC marks final approval of that finding.
Several members of Manufacturing Jobs for America and other Senators had previously written to and testified before the Department of Commerce and ITC about the importance of preserving a level playing field for the U.S. steel industry. Following the final vote, several members of Manufacturing Jobs for America praised the ruling.
- Sen. Donnelly (D-IN) said, “I am glad to see the International Trade Commission standing up for the American manufacturing industry and the Hoosier steel community in this final decision. Their ruling reinforces what I have been saying from the start—that American workers deserve a level playing field on which to compete.”
- Sen. Franken (D-MN) said, "This finding is a victory for Minnesota's iron ore industry and the important jobs it produces. American iron and steel producers and our workers can compete with anyone in the world on a level playing field. But we can't accept when other countries dump their goods here at anti-competitive prices, undercutting Minnesota's producers."
- Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN) said, “This is a significant victory for hardworking miners in Minnesota and across the country, and I’m pleased that the ITC heeded our calls for action. … These new penalties will help crack down on illegal trade practices and protect steelworker jobs.”
OMB delays proposed “factoryless goods producer” revisions to NAICS
OMB announced that it will delay a proposed revision to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) that would introduce the concept of a “factoryless goods producer.” This would have counted manufacturing as domestic in the U.S. Census even if the manufacturing were conducted entirely overseas. In July, Senators Brown (D-OH), Baldwin (D-WI), Cardin (D-MD), Coons (D-DE), Merkley (D-OR), Stabenow (D-MI), and Tester (D-MT), most of whom are members of Manufacturing Jobs for America, wrote to OMB Acting Director Deese to express their concerns about this proposed change.
More: Brown release | EPI blog post
2. OTHER NEWS
Senators call on GAO to analyze federal manufacturing programs
In a letter to Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, bipartisan group of Senators asked the Office to analyze federal manufacturing policies and provide recommendations for improvement. The senators requested answers to a range of questions about the scope, effectiveness, and potential for redundancy of federal manufacturing programs and tax incentives. The information will help to inform congressional and executive branch efforts to support the United States’ steadily recovering manufacturing sector. “Manufacturing plays a critical role in our country’s economy,” the senators wrote. “Accounting for nearly $2 trillion of our nation’s output, more than 12 million Americans are directly employed in manufacturing.”
“Given the importance of manufacturing in the United States, it is critical that federal manufacturing policy be effective,” the senators continued. “However, because the sector is diverse, no one federal department or agency deals exclusively with manufacturing.”
MJA Members demonstrate support for Ex-Im reauthorization
A number of MJA members recently spoke in support of reauthorizing the Export-Import bank, highlighting manufacturers in their district’s supported by the bank. The Export-Import Bank is set to expire September 30, after which it will not be able to issue new loans.
- Senator Baldwin (D-WI) visited Marine Travelift and Dan’s Fish, two Wisconsin businesses that have been helped by Export-Import Bank investments. “If American businesses have a level playing field, they can compete against anyone. The Export-Import Bank is an important tool that helps us create that level playing field, bringing fairness to global trade and supporting American businesses so they can create jobs and grow,” said Baldwin.
- Senator Landrieu (D-LA) called on Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank in order to continue recent positive momentum on the U.S. trade deficit, which fell to a five-month low in July. “The American energy revolution and strong pro-export policies continue to narrow our trade deficit. Now is the time to provide certainty to American businesses looking to ship their goods and services abroad by reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank,” Sen. Landrieu said.
- Senator McCaskill (D-MO) met with executives and employees at Western Forms, a manufacturer of aluminum forming systems, to rally support for the job-creating benefits of the Export-Import Bank. McCaskill heard from Western Forms employees on how their company had been positively impacted by the bank, and discussed ways the bank’s funding has allowed them to create jobs in Missouri and compete in the global marketplace. “The Export-Import Bank is one of the most important tools available to help Missouri companies create jobs and succeed in the increasingly competitive global market,” said McCaskill.
- Senator Shaheen (D-NH) visited Corfin Industries, WS Badger, and Mercury Systems to highlight how high-tech manufacturing and export opportunities can help businesses grow and create jobs. “Export promotion has been a top priority of mine ever since my days as New Hampshire governor, and it will continue to be a priority of mine as we look for ways to boost our small businesses so they can create more jobs,” said Shaheen.
Sen. Brown visits local steel manufacturer
Sen. Brown (D-OH) visited Warren Steel Holdings, where he outlined efforts to boost domestically-manufactured steel and keep Ohioans at work. Earlier in the month, Sen. Brown had worked with U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to reach a deal to put workers of Warren Steel Holdings back to work. “Manufacturing is a cornerstone of our economy and it’s making a comeback,” Brown said. “That’s why it’s so important to keep the momentum going, by enforcing trade policies that ensure our workers can compete on a level playing field. We should also pass my bill that would ensure that American infrastructure projects use American-made steel.”
More: Brown release
Senators Warner and Mikulski visit Newport News Shipbuilding
Huntington Ingalls Industries hosted Senators Warner (D-VA) and Mikulski (D-MD) for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. The visit provided the Senators an opportunity to meet shipbuilders and get a behind-the-scenes look at the defense industrial base and American manufacturing. Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin accompanied the Senators on the shipyard tour, which included a visit to one of the shipyard's submarine construction facilities where PCU John Warner (SSN 785) is under construction. Huntington Ingalls Industries designs, builds and manages the life-cycle of the most complex nuclear and conventionally-powered ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 39,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.
More: Warner press release
Shaheen visits local training centers and manufacturer
Sen. Shaheen visited River Valley Community College to highlight how job training programs like the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program can bolster economic opportunity for local manufacturers and help prepare students for high-skill careers. Shaheen also visited Pro-Cut International to highlight how expanding trade and exporting opportunities can help small manufacturers expand and create jobs. Pro-Cut has taken advantage of the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) to tap into new overseas markets and grow.
More: Shaheen release