|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
Monday, October 12, 1998
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) wants the Clinton Administration to take swift and decisive steps to stop the illegal dumping of cheap foreign steel in U.S. markets. "It's time for the Administration to stop standing on the sidelines and get into the game," Traficant. "The fact is, free trade is not working. The linchpin of free trade is trading partners playing by the same rules. Foreign steel companies have thrown the rules out the window in a desperate attempt to gain market share."
Traficant is working to get the House to vote on legislation calling on the President to temporarily ban steel imports from Japan, Russia and Brazil; pursue enhanced enforcement of U.S. trade laws with respect to the surge of steel imports into the U.S.; pursue with all tools at his disposal a more equitable sharing of the burden of accepting imports of finished steel products from Asia and the countries within the Commonwealth of Independent States; establish a task force within the executive branch with responsibility for closely monitoring U.S. imports of steel; and report to the Congress by no later than January 5, 1999, with a comprehensive plan for responding to this import surge, including ways of limiting its deleterious effects on employment, prices, and investment in the U.S. steel industry.
Last week, Traficant took to the House floor in a parliamentary maneuver to get the House to consider a resolution dealing with the steel crisis. The maneuver was defeated by the Republican leadership. In addition to getting a vote on the above-referenced legislation, Traficant and a number of his House colleagues are working to defeat a watered-down "sense of the Congress" resolution on the steel crisis the Republican leadership has tentatively placed on the House agenda for consideration this afternoon.
"America has the most productive, hard working and skilled steelworkers in the world – period," noted Traficant. "On a level playing field American steelworkers will always beat the competition. But the playing field is not level. I stand today with America's steelworkers in urging our government to do the right thing. Forcing our trading partners to adhere to international law and play by the rules is not protectionism -- it's simple justice."2009