#SteelBriefs Profile - Representative Mike Bost (R) IL-12

Representative Mike Bost (R) IL-12

The American steel industry employs nearly 140,000 workers, supports about a million jobs in the larger economy and is vital to nearly every aspect of modern life. #Steelbriefs highlights the opinions of steel advocates in Congress on key issues critical to the steel industry by profiling members of Congress who have worked to curtail the unfair foreign trade practices that have impacted the industry, and championed other issues critical to steel like transportation, infrastructure and energy. You can follow #SteelBriefs on the American Iron and Steel Institute Twitter (@AISISteel) and Facebook channels, as well as here on steel.org.


Representative Mike Bost (R) IL-12

How does the steel industry benefit your district?

Southern Illinois enjoys a proud steel heritage. Sadly, however, the industry has faced tough times, including the temporary idling of 2,000 steelworkers at U.S. Steel's Granite City Works facility and additional layoffs at Alton Steel. These are some of the hardest working, highly-skilled, and dedicated employees you'd ever come across. Getting as many of these jobs back on line as soon as possible will provide a critical shot in the arm to our local economy.

Why does a successful steel industry benefit the nation?

It's hard to imagine an industrial power worthy of the name that does not produce steel. Iron and steel goes into just about every infrastructure project of significance, including long span bridges, tall buildings, and the tanks and ships our military uses to protect our nation. Even the United States Capitol Dome is completely made of iron and steel. And the good-paying jobs the industry supports can often be the predominant economic driver for the small, rural communities where production facilities are located.

Why is it important to address unfair trade, especially with regard to the steel industry?

Steel and other manufacturing industries are job multipliers. For every worker making steel, there are additional ancillary jobs created up and down the supply chain - from mining to transportation to the building trades.

For far too long, American companies have competed on an uneven playing field that has titled against U.S. workers in the global marketplace. That's why, when other nations cheat, we need to fight back with every tool and means available to us. I was proud to introduce and see through to congressional approval legislation that has greatly improved our nation's anti-dumping and countervailing duty trade remedy laws. I also led an effort in support of U. S. Steel's Section 337 trade case against China. Now it's up to our government to ensure those tools are used effectively. Many of the preliminary dumping margins are encouraging, but the real proof will be when final dumping margins are issued.

How would your constituents be affected if trade laws are not aggressively enforced?

I spent many years as a firefighter in my hometown of Murphysboro; and I don't believe there's a homeowner out there who believes they should have to wait until their roof is engulfed in flames before calling the fire department. However, that analogy was basically true for American manufacturers that were falling victim to unfair foreign trade practices - our trade remedy laws forced U.S. companies and workers to wait until they suffered permanent harm before they could receive relief. Talk about a backwards system. Now, due to the fact that our trade remedy enhancements were signed into law, American companies can seek help at the first spark, rather than being forced to watch their entire operation go up in flames.