#SteelBriefs Profile - Representative Keith Rothfus (R) PA-12

Representative Keith Rothfus (R) PA-18

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 Keith Rothfus (R) PA-12 recently visited the U.S. Steel Clairton Plant in Clairton, PA.

How does the steel industry benefit your district?

The steel industry supports around 136,000 jobs across Pennsylvania, and much of that activity is concentrated in my district and across Western Pennsylvania. This isn’t only about jobs – the steel industry is also a source of great pride for us. The hard-working men and women of Pennsylvania’s steel industry can hold their heads high knowing that their efforts are part of a long tradition of diligence and innovation that has literally built this country.

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

Our steel producers are among the most competitive and innovative firms in the world. Unfortunately, some foreign governments aren’t content to let firms compete on their own merits. Instead, countries like China have put in place massively distortionary and protectionist policies that flood the world market with subsidized steel in order to undercut legitimate competition. This hurts domestic producers and puts American jobs at risk. That’s why I’ve been a strong supporter of efforts to enforce our trade laws and to hold bad actors accountable for their actions. 

Why is national infrastructure investment important?

Infrastructure investment is vital to maintaining the global competitiveness of American manufacturing. Maintaining and expanding reliable, high quality infrastructure is also crucial for American workers in all industries who rely on our roads, bridges, and transit systems to travel, drive their kids to school, and commute to work. Unfortunately, many of our aging highways, railways, ports, and locks and dams fail to meet the demands of our 21st century economy. That’s why I’ve been a strong supporter of fiscally responsible, long-term infrastructure bills like the FAST Act and WRRDA. I am also a vocal advocate for investing in the locks and dams that help make our inland waterways a major conduit for American commerce. You can stand on the shores of the Ohio River in my district and watch barges carrying coal, steel, chemicals, machinery and other goods to market.

Do you have any other comments or statements about the steel industry?

In a regulatory climate where many federal rules and regulations are corrosive to the steel industry, I want the people of the 12th Congressional District and of the entire Commonwealth to know that they have an ally in me who is willing to fight for policies that will allow them to innovate and grow to meet the needs of the community.