President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, and Leader McCarthy:
On behalf of the 850,000 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) and in solidarity with the more than 800,000 workers impacted by this unnecessary shutdown in nine of fifteen federal departments, I urge you to reach an agreement that will allow critical agencies to conduct the necessary tasks to move our economy forward.
In addition to the significant economic impact this shutdown is having on workers and families across this country, our union is deeply concerned with the erosion of our trade enforcement regime with the idling of the Department of Commerce’s (DOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) and the International Trade Commission (ITC).
Oversight of the implementation of the steel and aluminum 232 relief measures, including the exclusion process, has effectively halted. Our union, a strong supporter of 232 relief to protect our economic and defense security, is concerned that inadequate staffing is undermining the relief. In order for tariff relief to work, our country needs effective oversight and DOC staff doing their job with pay.
Anti-dumping and countervailing duty trade cases have stalled because of the furlough of the ITC. USW members at Maxion in Ohio, a producer facing an onslaught of dumped and subsidized steel wheels from China, have seen their enforcement case get needlessly delayed.
Another trade enforcement case on Cast Iron Soil pipe from China also faces a delay next week if there is no resolution of the shutdown. Tyler Pipe a division of McWane in Tyler, Texas provides good family-sustaining jobs in a mostly rural part of East Texas. Our union. represents close to 300 workers at Tyler Pipe, and soil pipe is a critical product for the company. Continuing imports of unfairly traded products will only further jeopardize their jobs and the company’s viability.