American Iron and Steel Institute Strongly Supports Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2009

Bill pushes for greater enforcement of trade agreements

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 28, 2009 – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) voiced strong support for Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) Super 301 bill, known as the Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2009, which was introduced today.   The bill works to identify priority trade barriers and to make sure that foreign governments are living up to their trade agreement commitments.

“AISI commends Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Arlen Specter (D-PA) for introducing the Section 301 bill, which serves as a critical step toward leveling the playing field for American manufacturers,” Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, said. “Passage of this bill is essential to enhanced U.S. government enforcement efforts to eliminate foreign trade-distorting practices, which are continuing to undermine our domestic manufacturing base.”
Despite continuing unfair trade practices by some of America’s largest trading partners, the federal government has not done enough to enforce our trade laws or international trade agreements, Gibson said. This legislation would provide the U.S. Trade Representative with the tools necessary to address this issue, which has contributed to the loss of over five million manufacturing jobs in the last 10 years and eroded U.S. access to foreign markets.

The Brown-Stabenow legislation will enable greater focus on those practices that most heavily impact U.S. exports and employment and require USTR – in consultation with other relevant agencies and Congress – to prioritize its enforcement strategy and work with those countries that have a pattern of unfair trade practices.

To find out more about the bill, click here.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to our customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at www.steel.org.