Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Are Already Creating American Jobs

From the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Nearly 3,000 jobs have been announced in response to anticipated steel and aluminum tariffs as members of the Trump administration head into a series of Congressional trade hearings on Wednesday and Thursday. The hearings are expected to touch on the tariffs which are part of the March 8 presidential proclamation into the impacts of imports on national security.

"These tariffs lay the groundwork for a stronger economy and industrial base as long as importers don't unnecessarily weaken the remedy,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM). “President Trump has the world’s attention with these tariffs, and it is vital that his administration holds firm in its support of growing America's economy and securing our industrial base.

"The level playing field created by the tariffs is helping to support thousands of new direct jobs, allowing us to strengthen our national security, and spurring indirect job creation as well -- the Main Street restaurants and stores in steel towns, and the long value chain supported by the industry."

A new AAM resource outlines many of the new jobs, including how: 

  • U.S. Steel Corporation is restarting one of two blast furnaces in Granite City, Ill., recovering approximately 500 jobs. Both Granite City furnaces had previously been idled.  
  • Republic Steel is recalling over 1,000 jobs to restart its formerly idled Lorain, Ohio, facility to meet anticipated demand for steel following Trump’s 232 trade action.
  • Nucor Corporation is building a new rebar micro mill in Frostproof, Fla., creating approximately 250 jobs with an annual average salary of $66,000. Previously in November 2017, Nucor announced plans to open another new rebar micro mill in Sedalia, Mo., creating 255 jobs and 450 temporary construction jobs. 
  • Century Aluminum Company is restarting the idled potlines of its smelter in Hawesville, Ky., restoring 300 jobs. Additionally, Century Aluminum is investing over $100 million to upgrade smelting technology at the site.
  • Magnitude 7 Metals is opening a new aluminum plant, producing 400 jobs, in New Madrid County, Mo., at the site of a plant that closed in 2016, when local lawmakers began work to reopen the facility.   
  • Alcoa Corporation is restarting three of five potlines at a smelting facility that had closed in 2016. This restart of Warrick Operations in Evansville, Ind., will generate approximately 275 jobs. 

Steel consumers are also speaking out in support of Trump's action. Zekelman Industries, the largest independent steel pipe and tube manufacturer in North America, plans to pay each of its employees a $1,000 bonus once the tariffs are instituted, and Pacific Boat Trailers won't raise prices despite using steel in its trailer construction.

To learn more about these jobs and read what companies are saying about the tariffs, visit AmericanManufacturing.org and Medium.

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Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Federal Minimum Wage Reaches Disappointing Milestone

By Kathleen Mackey
USW Intern

A disgraceful milestone occurred last Sunday, June 16.

That date officially marked the longest period that the United States has gone without increasing federal the minimum wage.

That means Congress has denied raises for a decade to 1.8 million American workers, that is, those workers who earn $7.25 an hour or less. These 1.8 million Americans have watched in frustration as Congress not only denied them wages increases, but used their tax dollars to raise Congressional pay. They continued to watch in disappointment as the Trump administration failed to keep its promise that the 2017 tax cut law would increase every worker’s pay by $4,000 per year.

More than 12 years ago, in May 2007, Congress passed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. It took effect two years later. Congress has failed to act since then, so it has, in effect, now imposed a decade-long wage freeze on the nation’s lowest income workers.

To combat this unjust situation, minimum wage workers could rally and call their lawmakers to demand action, but they’re typically working more than one job just to get by, so few have the energy or patience.

The Economic Policy Institute points out in a recent report on the federal minimum wage that as the cost of living rose over the past 10 years, Congress’ inaction cut the take-home pay of working families.  

At the current dismal rate, full-time workers receiving minimum wage earn $15,080 a year. It was virtually impossible to scrape by on $15,080 a decade ago, let alone support a family. But with the cost of living having risen 18% over that time, the situation now is far worse for the working poor. The current federal minimum wage is not a living wage. And no full-time worker should live in poverty.

While ignoring the needs of low-income workers, members of Congress, who taxpayers pay at least $174,000 a year, are scheduled to receive an automatic $4,500 cost-of-living raise this year. Congress increased its own pay from $169,300 to $174,000 in 2009, in the middle of the Great Recession when low income people across the country were out of work and losing their homes. While Congress has frozen its own pay since then, that’s little consolation to minimum wage workers who take home less than a tenth of Congressional salaries.

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