#SteelBriefs Profile - Representative Mike Doyle (D) PA-14

Representative Mike Doyle (D) PA-14

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.

 

 


 

How does the steel industry benefit your district?
While Pittsburgh's economy has diversified greatly since it earned the nickname "Steel City," Pittsburgh still has many steel-related businesses. It's home to the corporate headquarters of U.S. Steel, Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation, and Allegheny Technologies, for starters. U.S. Steel facilities in the Mon Valley include the Clairton Plant, which produces 4 million tons of coke a year, and the Edgar Thomson Works, which can produce nearly 3 million net tons of raw steel. U.S. Steel is still one of the ten largest employers in Allegheny County. Ampco-Pittsburgh has a large, newly re-equipped plant in nearby Carnegie, and Allegheny Technologies has a massive facility up the Allegheny River in Harrison Township and several more in nearby counties. In addition, specialty businesses related to the steel industry number in the hundreds. In all, steel-related jobs in and around the 14th District are estimated to be well in excess of 10,000.

Why does a successful steel industry benefit the nation?
For starters, the steel industry, like most manufacturing sectors, produces a large number of good-paying Middle Class jobs, and when American families have a decent income, they spend more money, creating demand for more goods and services, and that increased demand ripples through the entire economy, creating more economic growth and more good jobs.

Moreover, Americans produce better quality steel than many of our foreign competitors, and we do it at a competitive price - unless foreign governments illegally subsidize their exports.

In addition, a strong domestic steel industry is essential for ensuring our national defense; in such a politically unstable world, it's simply unwise for the U.S. military to depend on foreign imports of critical strategic materials like steel.

Why is it important to address unfair trade, especially with regard to the steel industry?
"Unfair trade" doesn't begin to describe what's happened to our steel industry. American steelmakers have been hit hard by the illegal dumping of foreign steel in the U.S. market along with foreign governments' manipulation of exchange rates to make US products less competitive globally.

American steelmakers can compete successfully with anybody in the world in terms of quality and cost of production. The problem for many years has been that the game is rigged; foreign governments heavily subsidize their countries' steel exports to create jobs and prop up their own factories - with the long-term goal of driving US steelmakers out of business. Their plan has been working.

The federal government needs to do a better, more aggressive job of enforcing US trade laws if we want to preserve our domestic steel industry. I supported recent legislation to improve US trade laws by making our trade enforcement measures more effective, and I've been working with other members of the Congressional Steel Caucus to push for tougher enforcement of US trade laws along with stronger measures to counter currency manipulation by foreign governments.

How would your constituents be affected if trade laws are not aggressively enforced?
Unfortunately, that's not a hypothetical question. We've already seen what happens - factories in my district shut down and my constituents lose their jobs when our trade laws aren't adequately enforced. That's why I've been fighting for tougher enforcement of our trade laws throughout my service in Congress, and why I'll keep at it as long as I'm in office - or until US trade agencies get it right.

Why is national infrastructure investment important?
From the steel industry's perspective, increased infrastructure investment would increase the demand for steel in this country because building roads, bridges, power lines, railroad tracks, and most other essential infrastructure requires a great deal of steel. That's a welcome side effect of additional infrastructure investment, along with creating good-paying manufacturing and construction jobs, but the most important effect of increased investment in repairing and modernizing our crumbling infrastructure would be the increased economic growth and job creation produced by making our nation's transportation and energy sectors more efficient.

Do you have any other comments or statements about the steel industry?
My father and grandfather worked in the steel mills their whole lives. In my hometown outside of Pittsburgh, there was someone in every family who worked in the mills. I worked in the mill myself one summer while I was in college. The steel industry made it possible for all of us to live a decent Middle Class life. Our country still needs lots of good manufacturing jobs that make it possible for hard-working Americans to raise a family, get their kids a decent education, and enjoy a dignified retirement. I've worked hard throughout my service in Congress to protect the US steel industry from illegal foreign competition and promote the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies that will allow American manufacturing to not just survive but prosper in the years ahead.