Crawford’s caucus speaks up for steel

Feb 18, 2018
In The News

Written by: Frank E. Lockwood
Published by: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, who serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, asked the White House last week to help America’s steelworkers.

The Republican from Jonesboro and several other lawmakers from steel-producing states urged President Donald Trump to defend the industry from what they view as unfair trade practices.

On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department called for heavy tariffs on foreign steel.

The 1st Congressional District, which Crawford represents, is a major steel producer. The Nucor-Yamato Steel Co. operates a structural steel mill near Blytheville. Nucor Steel Arkansas has another in the area. Last year, Big River Steel opened a $1.2 billion mill in Osceola.

Economic conditions have been tough for roughly a decade, Crawford said in an interview.

“You look at a company like Nucor. Since the economic downturn back in 2008 they’ve not shuttered, they’ve not laid anybody off. They’ve had reduced shifts and they really weathered storms,” he said.

“The U.S. industry, domestic steel industry’s at about 74 percent capacity right now and we need to do much better than that,” he said. “We’re losing market share to dumped goods from places like China, Korea, Turkey, Malaysia and others.”

The nation’s well-being is at stake, he said.

“It’s in our national security interest and so we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect our steel industry,” he added.

“The U.S. industry, domestic steel industry’s at about 74 percent capacity right now and we need to do much better than that,” he said. “We’re losing market share to dumped goods from places like China, Korea, Turkey, Malaysia and others.”

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