Officials from American steelmaking firms and from the United Steelworkers of America urged the Congressional Steel Caucus to help them more fairly compete with steel coming from China, India and Brazil.
U.S. Representative Tim Murphy, of suburban Pittsburgh, is the co-chair of the caucus and he said the industry representatives told the group that after a big decline the last few years, business is coming back up but they feel the success is tentative.
Murphy says they asked the caucus not to do "cap and trade" the way it came out of the house. According to Murphy, the chairmen of U.S. Steel, AK Steel and Nucor Corporation told them that the mandates to cut emissions in the House version of "cap and trade" will make American steel so expensive that it will favor steel from Brazil, China and India. Murphy said that American steel production generates one quarter of the pollution that steel from India and China does "and if we end up taxing our companies so much that it becomes cheaper to purchase steel from countries that have more pollution, then we'll be adding to the pollution around the world."
Murphy says the steelmakers are asking for tax credits to help reduce the emissions without pricing American steel out of the market.
Industry representatives also asked lawmakers to crack down on countries breaking trade laws and dumping product in the U.S. with false ISO certification.
Daniel DiMicco, Chairman of Nucor Corporation, said that the federal stimulus package has helped some because of requirements that bridge and road projects use American made steel but that the infrastructure is aging so much, that a great deal more is still needed.