Walorski Urges Top Trade Official to Consider Manufacturing Jobs in Steel, Aluminum Investigations

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Walorski Urges Top Trade Official to Consider Manufacturing Jobs in Aluminum, Steel Investigations

Expresses Concern Over Potential Impact on Hoosier Manufacturers if Tariffs or Quotas Imposed

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee urged United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to ensure the Trump administration’s investigations into the nation’s supply of aluminum and steel take into consideration the potential impact tariffs and quotas could have on American manufacturers, including those in northern Indiana.

“I would just ask [you] to consider the anxiety from my constituents about the prospect of tariffs and quotas on inputs that they depend on to make RVs, trailers, and all sorts of other products,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Could you convey to the president and to Secretary Ross my request that they conduct these investigations and decisions that they’re making thoughtfully, thoroughly, and transparently to determine what the impact of action might be for American companies, to avoid any type of quick action that would hurt these companies.”

BACKGROUND

The Trump administration is currently conducting investigations into whether unfair trade practices harm national security by limiting the availability of U.S.-produced aluminum and steel for military equipment, including aircraft, ships, and armored vehicles.

Walorski in April joined President Trump in the Oval Office for the signing of a presidential memorandum directing the Department of Commerce to use its Section 232 authority to investigate the impact of aluminum imports on national security.

At the time, Walorski called for “a careful and balanced investigation [that maintains] military readiness while ensuring Hoosier manufacturers continue to have a reliable supply of aluminum at fair market prices.”

The administration is expected to announce the results of the investigations and potential actions in the coming weeks.

Video of Walorski questioning Ambassador Lighthizer at the hearing is available here. The transcript of their exchange is below.

WALORSKI: I am more than concerned about the impact on aluminum, and the aluminum industry, as it pertains to my district in northern Indiana and my state. I would just ask [you] to consider the anxiety from my constituents about the prospect of tariffs and quotas on inputs that they depend on to make RVs, trailers, and all sorts of other products. I’ve already been contacted by some of these manufacturers, and they are already being impacted by price differences, and they’re very very uncertain as to what’s going to happen, as am I, and I appreciate your willingness to look into it.

But could you convey to the president and to Secretary Ross my request that they conduct these investigations and decisions that they’re making thoughtfully, thoroughly, and transparently to determine what the impact of action might be for American companies to avoid any type of quick action that would hurt these companies – could you just convey that information?

LIGHTHIZER: Yes, I will, I would be happy to do that.

WALORSKI: Can you just give me the bottom line, 20 seconds, as you see this Section 232, as it pertains to steel and aluminum? I’m particularly interested in the aluminum part.

LIGHTHIZER: I think you’re going to see decisions on both of them fairly soon. I think the view in the administration is that we have a very serious issue, the president has asked us to look at these things, they had hearings on one before, they have hearings on the other today, and the president wants action. He’s worried about what’s happening in those industries, and the president wants action. So to the extent you have concerns about effects, it’s certainly timely.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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