AISI Urges Administration to Designate Steel as Essential Industry

March 20, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today urged the Trump administration to identify the steel manufacturing sector and its workers as “essential” when drafting and enforcing shelter-in-place orders and other directives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Vice President Pence, Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO, said, “As the Secretary of Commerce determined in 2018, steel is important to national security well beyond obvious defense applications to encompass critical infrastructure and transportation, electric power and energy generation systems, as well as water systems. Without access to a reliable source of steel production during this crisis, our national and economic security will be severely impacted.

“We appreciate the efforts of the administration to limit the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As businesses across the nation have been ordered by many state and local governments to limit or cease operations in recent days, several states have specifically exempted industrial manufacturing as ‘essential.’ We urge the Trump administration to provide consistent nationwide guidance by formally recognizing critical manufacturing sectors that are essential to our country’s critical infrastructure and the response to COVID-19. I urge the administration to identify the steel manufacturing sector and its workers as essential when drafting and enforcing shelter-in-place orders and other directives,” Gibson said, noting that the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security already lists the iron, steel and ferro-alloy sector as a critical manufacturing sector.

Gibson noted that AISI member companies are complying with federal, state, local and community directives during the pandemic and are “taking all necessary precautions to protect the health of employees, customers, contractors and the community.”

A complete version of the letter can be found here.


Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 /

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’s membership is comprised of integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 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).