#SteelBriefs Profile - Senator Joe Donnelly (D) IN

Senator Joe Donnelly (D) IN

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.



Nucor Corp. recently awarded Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) the “Man of Steel” award this morning at Nucor Steel Indiana in Crawfordsville. The Senator also took a tour of the steel mill. Teammates and managers from all the Nucor divisions in Indiana attended the ceremony.


How does the steel industry benefit your district?
Indiana accounts for one quarter of all domestic steel capacity and produces a variety of steel products, including CORE, hot-rolled steel, and cold-rolled steel. We have plants in cities including Gary, Indiana, where generations of steelworker families have given their energy for more than a century. We also have plants in smaller towns like Butler and Crawfordsville where small businesses throughout the community rely heavily on the success of their local plant.

Why is it important to address unfair trade, especially with regard to the steel industry?
Strong trade policies strengthen communities, ensure good employment for workers, and help maintain a level playing field to foster the kind of fair competition that leads to robust markets. It should be a shared goal of all nations to participate in such a marketplace; but it will only work if everyone plays by the same rules.

Good, middle class jobs drive our local, state, and national economies. I will always insist that trade be fair and provide hard working Hoosier families with the ability to compete on a level playing field, which is why I have fought for the American steel industry against illegal steel dumping that undermine our economy and our communities.

How would your constituents be affected if trade laws are not aggressively enforced?
In my travels throughout the state, I have had many conversations with Hoosier workers, local business owners, and steel industry executives. They are worried. The loss of more than 1,000 steel jobs in Indiana last year has been on the minds of many. When families face the uncertainty of a plant idling, they must prepare for the worst. Small businesses who reside in communities that rely on the steel industry’s success suffer because families can no longer purchase goods and services. When given the chance to compete on a level field, American steelworkers will win every time. Hoosier steelworkers, their families, and their communities deserve nothing less than that chance.

Do you have any other comments or statements about the steel industry?
Congress, with my support, recently provided significant tools to the Obama Administration to combat the historic and illegal influx of foreign-made steel. The Leveling the Playing Field Act and the ENFORCE Act, which both are now law, should be used to vigorously defend our domestic industry from those who willingly do not play by the rules. Strict enforcement of the law is necessary to protect the domestic industry now and deter bad actors from abusing the system in the future. In addition, the Administration should fight-off attempts by China to gain market economy status.