Sen. McCaskill Urged Trump to Tackle Steel Dumping, While PolitiFact Offers New Insights into the Failing Industry
Sen. Claire McCaskill’s press release urging President Donald Trump to stand up for steel workers in April reported grim numbers on the steel industry, but PolitiFact has since not only validated those numbers, but shown that they are overly optimistic.
McCaskill wrote that U.S. steel revenues could face billions in losses, when in fact, as PolitiFact found, the industry is already within the grips of massive dips in revenue.
The total U.S. steel industry revenues amounted to $11.5 billion in 2015, compared to $17.5 billion in 2014.
PolitiFact also found that roughly half of all “primary metal” jobs have disappeared in just under three decades. In 1990, 688,000 people were employed by the steel industry. In March of 2017, that number has collapsed to 379,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are several key reasons that these once-valued jobs are disappearing. A large part of it is China’s participation in “steel dumping,” which is to say that the country provides steel at artificially low prices, harming the American sector and causing these downturns.
As such, Trump has promised to tackle some of these disparities between nations, though he has advocated in the past for a trade war, leaving some to consider whether the proposed cure will be worse than the disease.
“You have consistently reaffirmed your commitment to supporting steelworker jobs, and Chinese steel dumping is a major contributor to American manufacturing job loss,” wrote McCaskill and her fellow Senators in a statement to Trump.
“As Senators from leading steel and iron ore producing states, we have seen firsthand how this steel dumping has displaced American steelworkers. We hope that you will continue to strongly enforce our trade laws… In addition to building on the progress that has been made thus far, we respectfully urge you to make it clear to President Xi that Chinese steel dumping and illegal trade practices are unacceptable.”
“McCaskill is on the mark with steel industry,” PolitiFact, May 30, 2017.
“Ahead of Meeting with Chinese President, McCaskill Urges President Trump to Address Steel Dumping,” United States Senator Claire McCaskill, April 5, 2017.