Steel Executives Bring Trade and Jobs Focus to Capitol Hill

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For Immediate Release
March 26, 2015

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 /

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chief executives from three of the leading steel companies in the U.S told members of the Congressional Steel Caucus today that the government needs to dramatically improve policies on trade, investment in the workforce, and infrastructure, to ensure competitiveness and preserve American jobs in steel and other manufacturing sectors.  As members of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Mario Longhi, president and chief executive officer of United States Steel Corporation; John Ferriola, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Nucor Corporation; and, Mike Rippey, chairman of the Board of Directors of AISI and chairman of ArcelorMittal USA, this morning testified before nearly two dozen congressman from steel producing states.   The CEOs strongly emphasized that the industry continues to face the challenge of continuing high levels of unfairly traded imports.

Ferriola said, ”Blatant foreign government support of their steel industries has resulted in a glut of global steel production. A brazen disregard for international trade rules has led to the dumping of steel products in our market.   As a result, one in three tons of steel sold in the U.S. today is produced abroad by less efficient, less safe, and less environmentally friendly countries.  Our government must take a much tougher line with countries that break the law.”

Longhi said, “This nation’s safety, security and prosperity depend upon indigenous capacity to respond to our essential national needs, in peacetime and in times of crisis.  We do not build a steel plant in an emergency…we rely on it.  [However], not since the late 1990s have we witnessed the torrent of steel imports.  The last time we were at these levels, nearly half of American steel companies disappeared.   Today, across the country, once again, mills are idled.  Plants continue to be shut down.  American workers are laid off.  American steel companies are being irreparably harmed by illegal trade practices.” 

Rippey, who discussed the state of the steel industry and ensuring a skilled workforce, said, “The average age of our workforce is 50. Over the next five years, we expect 500 retirements per year.  How do we get young people to think about manufacturing as a viable career? And how do we make sure they have the skills that 21st century steel jobs require? Our competitors in Europe and Asia are investing in programs to develop engineering talent and a workforce that will enable them to compete globally. We too must invest in STEM education to motivate students to choose these majors, and eventually careers.”

The U.S. steel industry today operates over 100 facilities, employing more than 150,000 people and directly and indirectly supporting more than one million U.S. jobs.  

Copies of the CEO testimonies can be found here along with the audio and video below:

Click here for a PDF version of this release.

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 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI's website at Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).