WASHINGTON, D.C. – A leading chief executive from the American steel industry today told members of the Congressional Steel Caucus that the Administration’s priorities to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, take actions to address burdensome regulations that thwart manufacturing growth in the U.S., and enact aggressive trade enforcement policies are positive for the steel industry.
Roger K. Newport, Chief Executive Officer of AK Steel Corporation who also serves as Vice Chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), testified this morning at the Congressional Steel Caucus hearing, titled “America Rebounding: Steel in 2017 and Beyond.” The Steel Caucus is chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and vice-chaired by Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN).
“The steel industry touches most facets of the American economy and we continue to make substantial investments to support the future needs of our customers through product innovation,” Newport said. “We made significant investments to create new grades of light-weight, high-strength steel for cars and trucks in order to help the automotive industry meet CAFE and GHG emissions standards. We were pleased that the Administration recently announced it would reinstate the mid-term CAFE Standards review. Steel is the best economical solution to help the auto sector meet realistic CAFE standards that take into account consumer purchasing preferences. We look forward to working with the Administration and our customers to ensure we achieve the desired benefits,” Newport said.
He added that the industry also supports the Administration’s proposal for making significant investments in infrastructure, recommending that it include upgrades to “the old and outdated electrical grid system.” AK Steel is the sole domestic producer of electrical steel, which is among the most energy efficient in the world and is used in power transformers.
Newport reiterated that, while conditions in the steel industry have improved, “trade threats remain.”
“Imports continue to take about 26% of the U.S. market share – well above historical levels. Additionally, we are seeing substantial imports come in from countries not named in the trade cases. Meanwhile, domestic raw steelmaking capacity utilization has remained depressed with current levels still below 75% and thousands of employees still on layoff and over 14,400 jobs have been lost in the steel industry since the beginning of 2015. As such, we encourage the Administration and Congress to be vigilant - to take actions to spur our economy and manufacturing in the U.S., to continue the pursuit of strong trade enforcement and aggressive trade diplomacy, and to enact legislation to further address unfair foreign trade practices,” Newport concluded.
Also testifying at the hearing today were: Tracy Porter, Executive Vice President – CMC Operations, Commercial Metals Company; Edward Vore, CEO, ArcelorMittal Tubular Products; Terrence Hartford, Vice President, ATI Defense; Tom Conway, International Vice President, United Steelworkers; Scott Paul, President, Alliance for American Manufacturing; and, Bryan Clark, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
A full copy of Roger Newport’s testimony can be found here. PDF STILL NEEDED
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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 is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 120 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 www.steel.org. Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).