|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) wants President Clinton to confront the Japanese about the illegal dumping of cut-rate steel into the U.S. during trade talks the President will be having with the Japanese government this weekend. "With each passing day, more steelworkers lose their jobs, more local governments face declining tax bases, and more families face financial hardships. This needs to be stopped now," noted Traficant in a letter sent to the President today by Traficant and U.S. Reps. Robert Ney (R–OH), Dennis Kucinich (D–OH) and Steve LaTourette (R–OH).
Last month the House overwhelmingly approved a resolution authored by Traficant calling for a ban on steel imports from countries found to be in violation of anti-dumping laws. Earlier this month, Traficant filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit filed in October by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel against 15 foreign steel manufacturers. Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel is based in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Traficant is expected to testify next week in that case.
"Within the last few months, thousands of steelworkers have lost their jobs, small businesses are shutting down and local communities are being brutalized because our government refuses to put the interests of working people ahead of foreign governments," noted the Traficant-Ney-Kucinich-LaTourette letter. "Much of the illegally dumped steel is coming from Japan. Therefore, we would request that you confront the Japanese government about this horrific problem during your upcoming trade summit."
The letter noted that "every other country has taken measures to protect their steel market from this predatory and illegal dumping practice. It is time for us to do the same. Waiting for a bunch of international trade bureaucrats to decide the fate of our working families is an injustice to our nation." Traficant, Ney, Kucinich and LaTourette concluded their letter by urging the President to "take unilateral action to stand up for our steel industry and working people everywhere. We understand you have concerns about the United States' perception around the world, but that should take a back seat to your responsibility to the working families of this country. It is time to put America's interests first."